Thursday, November 2, 2017

THE TREACHEROUS NIGHT.

In the dark of night, Dag, Pork, and Fred feasted on a roasted fish that had fallen from the table of a seller on Maxwell Street. As they relished each bite, they were distracted by a strange sound from a corner. Dag, the eldest, raised his head, but when he did not see anything, he lowered his head again and continued with the meal. Moments later, there was a big bang. Pork stopped eating and said, “What’s that?”
“I don’t know,” Dag replied. He chewed noisily, staring at the darkness. Blaize limped out looking as if he had fallen from a tree.
“It’s only Blaize. I thought it might be Flinz. I would have snuffed the life out of the foul toad!” Pork boasted.
“Hey, guys! What do you have for me?” Blaize groaned.
Dag chuckled. “Why would a cat that has a rich owner be looking for a meal in this filthy place?”
Blaize wore a long face. “My new owner is not what we thought.”
“What do you mean?” asked Fred.
“Can’t you see that I’m limping? Dr. Pepper almost killed me a few days ago. I have been tending to my injury on one of the roofs on the other side of the street,” Blaize disclosed as tears gathered in his eyes.
“We must look after each other. What happened?” Dag inquired as he drew closer.
“There was a stubborn rat that the old man expected me to kill, but the little devil escaped into a hole as I tried to make a short work of him,” Blaize said as he shook his head in despair.
“That’s not enough to make him treat you badly. Age can be a terrible curse. If I may ask, how did you escape?” Pork asked.
Blaize inhaled sharply and said, “I had to pull a few strings to get out of the bloody mess.”
“I can’t believe that Dr. Pepper could be such an evil man,” Fred reacted.
“That was not the first time that I saw his dark side. Two weeks ago, he threatened me with a knife because a rat entered his cottage and ruined his old diary. And it wasn’t my fault because he always kept me in the cage,” Blaize said and began to sob gently.
Dag was discouraged. “I wonder why some people do not value life. I am looking forward to the day when we will all be free to walk the street and get equal opportunity to live the best life we can.”
Pork was the next to speak: “We are due for a revolution. But we do not have what it takes to confront these wicked people. What we need is an opportunity to express our grievances.”
“You are right. Someday our deliverance will stroll into our world!” said Fred.
As they rested on the wings of silence, Munroe, an elderly cat from William Otama Street, emerged from the evening shadows and approached the friends. “Dag, where is Blaize? His master, Dr. Pepper, is dying!” he said, panting.

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Dag sighed. “That is good for him: he’s been maltreating Blaize!” he said and turned away.
Blaize limped forward and faced Munroe: “What happened to Dr. Pepper?”
Munroe heaved. “A while ago, he had an encounter with Flinz. I chased a rat into his compound. As I was feasting on the rat, I saw Flinz stealing a fish from a table in the backyard. Dr. Pepper was in the kitchen. The angry old man grabbed a broom, and as he tried to hit the intruder, he stumbled and fell upon a bottle of cooking gas. I tried to fight Flinz but my blows were not enough As soon as he disappeared over the fence, I regained my footing, but when I looked back at the kitchen, I saw Dr. Pepper engulfed in an inferno. There was nothing I could do to save him. Munroe ended his long oratory with a noisy cough, the result of inhaling smoke from the fire.
Blaize broke down and wept bitterly. “No need to cry, Blaize,” Pork consoled. “Dr. Pepper got what he deserved.”
Sobbing gently, Blaize replied, “Even though he has treated me unfairly, Flinz does not have
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the right to cause him misfortune.”
“That’s true. But Dr. Pepper was a bad man,” Dag said.
“I don’t believe in paying evil with more evil. If we continue that way, the world will never be a better place. We must set an example for others to follow, and a legacy that will leave our names on the sands of time,” Blaize said.
“What can we do?” Fred asked.
“We must rescue Dr. Pepper and get Flinz out of the way, for he has brought shame upon us all!” Blaize announced. The other cats agreed and reluctantly followed him into a shadow.





The City Heroes and other stories from the Heart of Africa by Nigerian writer Omoruyi Uwuigiaren is a perfect introduction for readers to learn about the African experience. Suitable for middle-grade readers, the stories within the collection contain messages and themes about forgiveness, charity, redemption, and loyalty all from a decidedly African perspective. 

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Tonight during story time take a trip to the heart of Africa.

Make new friends including a clutter of cats otherwise known as The City Heroes. Follow a pair of jungle ants as they rescue their friend from a raging storm. Tag along with a country boy as he hunts wild birds to prepare a feast for his father’s arrival. Understand the true meaning of mercy and charity when a stranger is caught stealing eggs from a farmer. Help a baby named Thomas find his way home after he strays from his father’s boat. Follow Blaize and his newfound canine friend Thatcher as they thwart a group of kidnappers in Blaize and the Master of Enchantment.

Beautifully illustrated pictures help tell all six stories including The City Heroes, The Jungle Ants, The Country Boy, Stranger on the Farm, Baby Thomas and Blaize and the Master of Enchantment. Encounter adventures beyond your wildest dreams, learn about the beautiful country of Nigeria and see how easy and how fun it is to learn about a new culture in the heart of Africa.




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