So have you ever wondered why people have to die?
Well then you are clearly not one of the Kono people of Sierra Leon.
If you were, then you would know:
It’s because of SNAKES.
Okay, lemme back up a little.
So there’s this god named Yataa
(Which, up until now
I thought was just the thing Hiro Nakamura from Heroes yelled whenever he traveled through time)
and when our story begins, he has just gotten done making all the people.
He is super pleased with these people he just made
no problems at all, everything is great
nothing is going to go wrong you could just stop reading now.
But Yataa is one of those guys who can never put down a project
like my dad, or most serial killers
so he’s racking his brains for a way to really kick these dudes up a notch
and finally he’s like “Oh, duh
I’ll just make them immortal.”
But there’s a problem with this
which has been exhaustively explored by, like, a million science fiction writers already:
ETERNAL LIFE DOES NOT EQUAL ETERNAL YOUTH.
And Yataa is not gonna just stand idly by and watch his chosen people get ugly.
No, no, no.
So he gets out his sewing kit
and he pulls some straight-up Texas Chainsaw Massacre shit
by which I mean he sews new skins for everybody.
But that is not the end of Yataa’s logistical problems
because, see, he forgot to invent FedEx
and so if he wants to get this package of skins to his people
he’s got to use the next best thing:
So he calls up this dog he knows
and he’s like “Hey dog
I need you to take these skins to my people.
It is very important.”
And the dog is like “WOOF WOOF I AM A DOG YOU CAN COUNT ON ME.”
So Yataa gives his skinsack to the dog
and the dog goes trotting along towards all Yataa’s dudes
but on the way he sees a bunch of his friend chilling by the river.
Let me be clear, guys
the dog’s friends are not other dogs.
They are, in fact, ALL THE OTHER ANIMALS.
So there’s a hippo there, and probably a lion and a gator and a jaguar
and DEFINITELY a snake
because I mentioned those earlier.
This is a very sociable dog, is what I’m saying.
Anyway, the animals are like “YO DOG I HEARD YOU LIKED RIVERS.”
And the dog is like “WOOF WOOF I AM A DOG YOU HEARD RIGHT.”
And the dog goes over and has a drink with his animal pals
and totally spills the beans about how he is carrying this precious sack of skins
and all his friends are totally impressed
except for snake
who is just totally EVIL.
So what snake does
is he starts yawning
and you know how yawns are contagious, right?
Well, snake yawns are some WEAPONS-GRADE SHIT
because within minutes, every single one of those animals is asleep
and then snake just grabs those skins and slithers away
and after that, Yataa totally loses steam, and he is too lazy to make any more skins.
So that’s why snakes get to do that gross thing now where their skin comes off.
Although now I don’t get why their sheddings don’t have arms and legs and thumbs.
maybe snake just took the skins to a tailor for alterations or something.
the moral of the story
is that you should never trust a dog
who hangs out with snakes.
Short and sweet
I remember reading a variant of this myth where a bird was the animal chosen to give new skins to the humans, only she didn’t know what humans looked like, so the creator god told her they were ‘tall’. She flew down to Earth carrying her bag of skins and gave it to the snake, as it was the longest thing she’d ever seen.