In my article titled “Majestic MAJESTIC,” I paid tribute to my parade-horse for the 7th January 2000 Millennium-Parade. However, my word-limitation did not allow me to share an aspect of human-nature I saw in Majestic! Meanwhile, a tribute I had from a reader read:
“I wish that famous horse who came into contact with more dignitaries than most Ghanaians like myself, was alive to give him a pat on the back.”
Before delving into that aspect of human-nature I saw in Majestic, on Sunday 7th January 2024 which was the twenty-fourth anniversary of the Millennium Parade, “Manager” and I visited a couple who are into farming. The conversation went into animal-farming as we talked about their chicken, ducks, goats and pigs.
Answering a question, our hostess stated, “if you ever think animals do not have sense, they will prove how stupid you are in underrating their intelligence. They are all smart in their own way, and cannot be taken for granted!”
We laughed as we applied that to humans, particularly Ghanaians!
I found their discussion on goats, particularly mother-goats very educative.
Goats vrs sheep
Generally, goats are credited with a high degree of intelligence, unlike their cousins the sheep! Indeed, in my article “Goat-fight versus sheep-fight,” I gave a description of one of the reasons for the goat’s higher ranking on the intelligence scale. Part read as follows;
“A funny but enduring memory I also have about Salaga is a fight I saw between two sheep! Behind my house was an open-area where children played football.
On this occasion, two sheep loitering about at the ‘centre circle,’ started reversing in opposite directions, after appearing to have agreed on the rules of engagement for their next course of action.
With each about 20 metres from the centre, as if acting on cue, they started sprinting towards each other.
I could not believe the loud sound following the clash of heads.
In spite of the peacekeeping attempts by two little boys to drive them away, the sheep continued the battle of sprinting to bang their heads many times over.
It was at the end of one such head-bang that one sheep let out a loud agonising bleat and fell down bleeding from the nose/ears.
When I joined two boys (‘peacekeepers’) to see what had happened, the sheep was dead!
This sheep’s fight to death was in contrast to goat fights I had seen earlier as a little boy.
Two fighting goats raise their front legs aggressively into the air, pivot on their hind quarters, and then come down gently tapping their heads, and let the front legs down, with no damage to their heads.”
I concluded by advising foot-soldiers not to fight to the end like sheep, but fight like their employers the politicians who fight beautifully like goats.
I was surprised learning that, mother-goats are not the most responsible of mothers! The conversation on goats started because a baby-goat born on their farm a few days earlier had died that morning.
Unlike other animals like sheep and pigs which lie down for a long time to enable their babies access to their nipples to suckle, goat-mothers do not have the time and patience to lie down quietly.
An observation I made as a little boy was that, while sheep behave like long-distance runners, goats are by nature sprinters. They start their day with Physical Training (PT) by doing a twenty-metre sprint. Because mother-goats are constantly on the move, their babies have to run after them to suckle. Almost invariably, the weakest of three babies is unable to compete with the other two. As mother-goat is unwilling to give any “ICU” treatment to the weak baby, it dies as was the case that morning.
Again, unlike sheep, pigs and chicken which allow babies of their kind to join them when feeding in a democratic manner, mother-goats chase away any baby-goat not their own.
My hostess concluded by describing the mother-goat as a very selfish and greedy creature!
Now, back to Majestic!
As part of all military operations, we do contingency planning. The Millennium parade was no exception. So, there was a fully-dressed stand-by Parade Commander Colonel ready to take over in case I was unable to continue with the parade in an emergency. His horse was a handsome young white horse like Majestic, called Royal Salute. On the third day of rehearsals at the Black Star Square, as soon as Majestic saw Royal Salute, he rushed towards him intending to harm the young horse. But for the timely action of the riding-instructors, Majestic would have harmed Royal Salute with a deadly kick!
Reason? Jealousy! When Majestic saw Royal Salute, he felt he was going to be replaced by the younger handsome horse, hence the attack. For years, Majestic had enjoyed the limelight and found Royal Salute an intruder!
Fellow Ghanaians, why are we so hard on ourselves, and never wish one another well, like mother-goats? Let us reject the “mother-goat syndrome” of arrogance, selfishness, arrogance and greed. Any casual observer knows that, the fight against “galamsey” lacks commitment/sincerity. The labourers arrested do not own the heavy equipment used in the environmental destruction.
As the Chinese Ambassador asked Ghanaians, why is there no galamsey in South Africa which probably has more gold than Ghana? Who gives Chinese visas to come to Ghana?
Finally, let us eschew the “majestic jealousy” which makes it difficult for the Ghanaian to appreciate anything done by a fellow Ghanaian. Let us learn from our “big-brother” neighbours, who unlike us with our self-destructive “mother-goat syndrome”, support one another to the hilt, especially in the diaspora.
Leadership, lead by example! Fellow Ghanaians, WAKE UP!
Brig Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd)
Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association
Council Chairman, Family Health University College
Source: Brig Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd), Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association, Nairobi, Kenya
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