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  • Once there was a village in Nigeria, West Africa where the people farmed in a lush valley. The villagers lived in homes made of dried mud, which the women decorated.

    Surrounding the village were fields with crops and beyond was a deep river the villagers called "Baba" which means father.

    The river provided for the people: the men used it for fishing & irrigating crops, the women washed clothes on its banks and the children played in its waters.

    In the rainy season, however, it overflowed and the people were afraid of its power.

    They had built a dam which held back the water where the river wound beyond the fields.

    There was an elderly man in the village named Modupe, which means "I am grateful."

    Modupe was a quiet man, a widower, whose grown children lived in other villages.

    He moved to the brow of the mountain overlooking the entire valley and he lived alone.

    He built a hut and cleared off land to grow vegetables. The people in the valley loved and respected him.

    One year at harvest there were unusually heavy rains, but the crops had done well and no one (except Modupe) paid attention to the river.

    One day Modupe looked at the river and saw that it had become swollen straining the dam and there was no time to run down and warn the people of the flood.

    Yes, it would be too late and all would be lost

    Modupe thought of his friends, their crops, homes and very lives were in danger, if he did not find a way to warn them.

    Then an idea came, he rushed to his hut and set it on fire.

    When the people saw his home burning they said, "Our friend is in trouble, we must sound the alarm and go to him"

    Then according to custom "all" men, women and children went up the mountain to see what they could do.

    When they arrived, a loud crashing noise behind them made them look down into the valley. Their homes, temple and crops were destroyed by the river.

    At first the people started to cry over their loss, but Modupe comforted them. "Don't worry" he said "My crops are here, we can share them while we build a new village."

    Then everyone began to sing, dance and give thanks, because they remembered in coming to help a friend, they had also saved themselves.

    To love others is the greatest gift of all. ~ unknown author ~ brought to you by me, pass it on.
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