THE VEGETABLE KINGDOM

“I am not a vegetable!” Chief Cucumber argued. “My ilk and I are fruits!”

“Impossible!” All the vegetables yelled. “That’s an abomination.”

“That is our decision,” iterated the Chief Cucumber. “We refuse to be considered greens.”

“We all are greens!” The chief of the Vegetables shouted. “How dare you deny what you are! Look at your skin. It’s all green….and white……and green……… It’s all over you!”

Chief cucumber rose and screamed in anger. Having the others define him and his ilk as greens, with a description of his features had irritated him like pepper in the eyes.

“You all forget,” he said, “our fathers say: ‘a gorilla and a monkey can claim kinship; but a gorilla is a gorilla and a monkey, a monkey!”

He drew his sword and asked his ilk to do same. Together, they fought day and night for three and a half years, not to be defined by their greenness.

“Forget this green land,” he reminded his comrades daily. “The sun is where we get our strength from. Our land shall be the land of the sun! The rising sun shall be on our flag!”

His words empowered all the cucumbers in the land and they fought courageously daily. However, the other vegetables outnumbered them and as such, killed them in their numbers. Their bodies littered green grasses of the land and rotted into the green earth… everywhere was green…and white…and green fields…

One day, Chief Cucumber ran his hands through his full beard. The battle had gotten out of hand. Funds had finished. His men had been slaughtered in their thousands. So, he ran away.

His second-in-command, after only four days, called the Chief of Vegetables.

“Don’t kill us all,” he begged.

“Have you agreed you are vegetables?” Asked the Chief of Vegetables. “If you agree, we will stop the war.”

“Alright then,” he agreed.

And with that, the war ended. Years after, Chief cucumber returned. Some negotiations were carried out. He was pardoned for his treason. However, he kept repeating it for years in every interview:

“Cucumbers are scientifically classified as fruits. We have an enclosed seed and develop from a flower; hence, botanically speaking, cucumbers are classified as fruits. Stop calling us Vegetables! We demand our Fruit-State, ruled by the Sun!”

Years later, he fell and died from the tiredness of his words but doctors called the cause of death an ailment. Gossips said it was old age. Clerics said it was God’s time. However, the strangest thing happened as he died: All vegetables mourned him and called him a VEGETABLE HERO! They covered his coffin with greens…and white…and greens.

Who is more pathetic: the fallen Chief Cucumber who got defined by what he refused to be or the living vegetables who insist on calling him part of the vegetable kingdom despite his abhorrence of such?

Poor vegetables! In death, as in life, confusion still clouds the definition of Chief Cucumber. Fruit or vegetable, I guess, the earth takes us all one day.

RIP The bearded Chief.

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34 thoughts on “THE VEGETABLE KINGDOM

  1. Nice!……………but hey! Doesn’t look like chief cucumber ran away, if he did come back and still had words to say and pple to listen!!!! And hey! What’s with d veggies calling him vegetable hero???? He must have been something

    • Tnxx 4 ur comment….. Bt history has it that he ran away oooo….. I think he ran away on Jan 7/8, 1970; cos, afta Gen Philip Efffiong took over as the then (2nd) Presiddent of Biafra, it took Effiong only to last til Jan 12, 1970 b4 surrendering ooooo…….. & after he returned he ws no longer in d military cos dat war ws an act of treason…….& everytime he spoke in interviews he explained he & his people were stil having dat dream 2 hv a state of Biafra…………

  2. Lool. But then again u really did write just about fruits and vegetables…NOT! Nigerians are just starved of hero’s, little wonder they named Ojukwu one. Oh sorry, I meant Chief Cucumber. What am I thinking??!
    But then again, maybe he deserved it. After all there are not many Cucumbers in that land who have displayed such manner of courage and strength or who are willing to.
    We’ll just have to wait and see. Maybe the new crop of Vegetables are different.

    • Aaaaaah! Ur a Genius… Perhaps, in d future, d head of d ‘vegetable-haram’ wld also b a hero cos of his daring courage….. Poor vegetable kingdom….. They wither daily due to harsh ‘weather’ conditions……..

      • We really don’t have people we can call heroes in its true sense in nigeria; especially when it comes to leadership. They r honestly not more than 3 since 1914( I mean national heroes not regional ones)

      • Obasanjo, baba Obasanjo n em em…………well, if sanusi can continue his bank reforms n force these Banks to leaned to small n medium scale businesses, he’ll be no 3 on my list

  3. The battle resulted due to the unfortunate marginalization of d hero & his likes. The unfair treatment in every aspect of their lives by the ruling force couldn’t continue to be condoned, at least without an effort to improve the situation at hand. That’s a definition of courage, passion, strenght. His death is, was & never will be clouded in confusion. All hail d chf cucumber.

  4. Funny thing about the people of the Vegetable kingdom is their ability to forget fast. It is their gift and it is also their curse. Other cucumbers would have felt cheated if the king cucumber wasn’t remembered and buried as a vegetable. In the land of the vegetable, laws must be bent on sentimental basis( our gift and our curse). Sadly Vegetables, cucumber, coconuts, rice , beans, and all the other over 200 food species of the land never thought about the effects it would(and will continue) to have on their seeds. Harvest keeps getting worse as the land heads towards famine. All because they refused to think about the present and future seeds.

    • The great philosopher!!!! U said it all… “In the land of the vegetable, laws must be bent on sentimental basis( our gift and our curse). ”

      I think this is really the problem in this vegetable kingdom!

  5. I chuckled at ” their bodies (vegetables?)littered green grasses of the land and rotted into the green earth… everywhere was green…and white…and green fields.” Chief Cucumber is a cucumber hero. He is a vegetable hero because any other Chief Vegetable would do what he did under the circumstance if they have courage. Since vegetables have selective amnesia and do not speak ill of their dead, history is smiling on Chief Cucumber and he is now a Vegetable hero. There are some honours you can only get posthumously in the veggie kingdom. Great allegory my brother. What are you though? Veggie or Egg(head). I’m no veggie, fruit or cucumber. No beef.

    • My brother, thank you jare…. Make we dey try small, to see the world through the eyes of a pen….. On your analysis, i totally like…. ” Chief Cucumber is a cucumber hero. He is a vegetable hero..Since vegetables have selective amnesia and do not speak ill of their dead, history is smiling on Chief Cucumber and he is now a Vegetable hero. There are some honours you can only get posthumously in the veggie kingdom…”

      You’re very right my brother…. The Vegetable kingdom is a noteworthy and great kingdom in a variety of ways.. The challenge I have with it is, the parts that are noteworthy are not great; and the parts that are great are not not noteworthy…

      So, what am i? I’m the owl with the pen… I look with my eyes and write with the pen… The book VEGETABLE KINGDOM would soon be out… hope it makes a great story (just as so many people seem to like the short story here)

  6. Eagerly waiting for the book “VEGETABLE KINGDOM”…………………..so where do the cucumbers now belong? since dey still wish to be called fruits, as they murmur amongst themselves, planning and scheming…..waiting for an opportunity to come when dey can repeat the fight and perhaps gain victory this time…….or that is what they tell themselves. Where do the cucumbers belong now…….as they cry wolf, at the sound of every howl dat rings in their ears!! as dey play victim and blame the vegetables for every fallen cucmber!!! smh!
    Fruit or Vegetable…..or perhaps dey will like to be called……vegetable fruit! lol!

    Great Write Up!

    • Thank u Sir… I think that is the best term for them: VEGETABLE FRUIT! U know, stepping out of the confines of the allegory, on a daily, people miss what category to classify the cucumber….lolllllzzzzz… So, I guess, VEGETABLE FRUIT is just in order!

      Thank u 4 ur comments… Much appreciated!

  7. I like this!
    Vegetables never really accepted the cucumbers as vegetables,yet they won’t let them be with the fruits like thay have always wanted. So the chief of cucumbers did what he thought was best for them…
    Vegetable hero, or not, God rest his brave soul.

      • i wont consider the chief cucumber to be brave cus bravity would have made him go to prison for what he believed or die for his course. Jesus said any1 that is afraid of losing his life will lose it; i think the fear of him dying killed the importance of the stand he took.

      • Kai! Rha, abeg naaa…. By definition, he’s brave. I think being brave comes down 2 singular acts, nt a holistic event.. Hence, he ws brave 2 stand up 4 what he saw as illegal, unjust and cruel… However, I still believe he ws NOT a hero… Cos, in d dictionary of the earth, heroes stay till the end!!!

        Hw wil a leader run when things got very messy & yet get people consider him a hero?? Gosh!!!philip Efffiong is more of a hero 4 staying puut as a leader & taking d harsh decision he thut right!!!

        Heroism demands several more qualities in addition 2 courage! Jus because someone exhibits courage doesn’t make him a hero! I know a lot of “biafrans” may dislike me following this… Bt pls, let’s keep sentiments aside & speak d truth (dats wat is lacking in Nigeria)!

        The Nigerian heroes dat come 2 mind now are FELA & GANI! Compare & contrast!!!!.

  8. Michael,michael,michael,dunno you,but am proud we share the same name and the same love for writing,nice abstract I would have said,if am not buried in the arts,me am not a vegetable oooo and cucumber am not ,lol,all na perception sha,the whole piece can also be seen differently,nice piece,didn’t really like ur choice of words in some areas,well written it was,long live ojukwu even in death.

  9. Hmm… Really interesting representation of events. You need to publish. True, this generation is hero-less and without courage to stand for what it believes in (if at all it believes in anything but selfish and greedy ambitions to amass wealth for themselves ONLY). Maybe more write-ups like these would inspire us to rise up as seen during the fuel subsidy strike. Thumbs up, well done. More pls..

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