*ADVENTURES OF GOODBOY*
Osei Wusu spent one year learning the art of disguise secretly of a great yogi who was visiting Goodville. At the end of the training, the yogi declared that Osei Wusu has learnt enough to be able to do disguises that fit his physical stature. It would take several more years of arduous training and testing before he could become a master of disguise like the yogi. But Osei Wusu was impatient. He wanted to declare himself the master of disguise and that is precisely what he did as soon as King Bediako had assembled him that morning.
“Beloved King,” bowed Osei Wusu, “this humble servant of your royal highness is now a master of disguise. I have completed hard training and testing and can transform myself into almost anything I wish to. The transformation will be utterly realistic” Osei continued lying confidently about his abilities as he was sure that nobody will go in search of the wandering yogi to find out the truth.
Goodboy was amused by all this arrogant rambling. He knew that Osei Wusu had hardly finished the first year of training.
“Let us see a demonstration,” said the King.
“I don’t think that would be prudent, Your Majesty” intervened Goodboy, “As much as we can use the skills of Osei Wusu when required, I think it is not fair to the art of disguise to make a public demonstration out of it. Afterall, the very purpose of the art of disguise is to mislead the viewer.”
“You are just jealous of my expertise,” shouted Osei Wusu thinking that Goodboy was stealing the moment of glory away from him. “I would very much like to give a demonstration of my skills. In fact, I will display before the court one of the toughest transformation. I shall become a lion in this court tomorrow.”
“Wonderful”, said the King excited.
“However, I have a request,” said Osei Wusu eyeing Goodboy, “I become so involved in the transformation that I must be excused for any behavior during the demonstration.”
He had a cunning plan. But Goodboy was one step ahead of him and understood what dirty trick Osei Wusu was up to.
The court was packed the next day because news had spread the previous night in the town that Osei Wusu will be appearing as a lion in court. People were curious to see the disguise. Goodboy arrived promptly and took his seat. After a few minutes, a loud roar resounded in the court hall. Many of the spectators were caught off-guard and shuddered. Soon another louder roar. And then a majestic lion strode on to the court through the back entrance. Most people were scared. The disguise was perfect. The mane was shining in the morning light. The claws glistened. The sharp teeth were visible. With sharply focused eyes, the lion scanned the crowd.
It was difficult to believe that this was Osei Wusu in disguise. Many people braced themselves just in case the lion jumped to attack. But the lion promptly moved towards the king and prostrated offering his respects. Seeing this, the courtiers were relieved. It was indeed Osei Wusu in disguise. Why would a real wild lion offer respects to the King? Now the lion began to pace up and down the court room, sometimes slowly, sometimes swiftly. Once in a while, it paused, sniffed the air, then continued again. Then suddenly, without any provocation, it sprinted towards Goodboy and pounced on him with an open mouth and bare claws in full attack mode.But Goodboy was ready. He immediately moved out of the way. The lion missed him but its left paw managed to make a deep cut on Goodboy’s shoulder. The lion then disappeared from the court. Court physicians rushed to Goodboy. They gave him first aid. The injury was not serious.
While they were bandaging Goodboy, Osei Wusu entered the court having taken off the disguise. The courtiers and the King stood up to applaud his performance.
“Thank you Everybody,” said Osei, “I am glad you got to experience the performance of the master of disguise.”
“But I must apologize,” he continued with a wicked smile, “to my dear friend, Goodboy, who was harmed in the act. I am unaware of my actions when I am disguised. My body and soul are elsewhere. I was not here. It is like a trance. Only the lion was here. That is the dedication I apply to this art.” With this blatant lie, he justified his attack on Goodboy.
Goodboy had known that Osei Wusu would attack him. He did not mind being injured, but he knew that letting Osei Wusu get away with this was dangerous. In future, he could inflict harm on anyone and claim innocence in the name of being in the trance.
“I am happy that I could be part of the proceedings,” said Goodboy. “But I think all of us present in this court would very much like an encore. Since you are the master of disguise who is capable of transforming yourself into anything, tomorrow we would like to see you transform into that common household animal we all love: the cow”
“Can you do that Osei Wusu?”, asked the King
“The cow is one of the easiest disguises, Your Majesty”, declared Osei Wusu,
“Tomorrow morning in the palace grounds, I shall demonstrate my cow disguise.”
Next day, there was an even bigger crowd assembled at the palace ground to see Osei Wusu as a cow. Soon a beautiful cow entered the arena. With decorated horns and a sweet cow bell, it was a beautiful creature. The King was impressed by Osei Wusu’s ability. He was ready to applaud when Goodboy stood up and spoke:
“As Osei Wusu told us yesterday, he is not here now. There is only the cow. Such is the greatness of his performance. Now all of us agree that this is indeed a magnificent cow. But we are just human beings. The real seal of approval for this disguise must come from the animal kingdom itself. So now I order the guards to release the royal bull into the arena. If the royal bull believes that this is a real cow, then Osei Wusu is indeed the master of disguise.”
Osei Wusu heard Goodboy’s words from inside the cow suit. There was no trance. He almost had a heart attack hearing that the royal bull will be set on him now! He knew that would be a calamity from which he cannot physically recover.
“Please do not release the bull. Please,” he shouted tearing open the cow mask, “the bull will kill me.”
“Don’t worry, Osei,” said Goodboy smiling, “there is no bull. But I am surprised that you heard very clearly whatever I said though you were in a disguise. How come you are very much here today but were not responsible for your actions yesterday?”
Osei hung his head in shame.
King Bediako understood that Osei had cheated him and the court with all the talk about trance and mastery of disguise. The King saw that all Osei wanted to was to use his little expertise and knowledge to harm Goodboy. Osei was banished from the court for two months and ordered never to practice the art of disguise ever again.
To be continued….
*ADVENTURES OF GOODBOY*