“Let’s go to his palace and pretend that we want him to divine for us,” said the mosquito. “Before we go, I’ll suck the blood of someone who has tuberculosis so when I puncture Orunmila’s skin, he’ll be infected with the disease and die.”
“I can crawl under his mat when he’s not looking,” said the snake. “I’ll bite him and my venom will kill him.”
The flea said, “I’ll think of something I can do, too, leave it to me.”
Together, they set off for Orula’s palace, confident that their plan would work.
The mosquito was the first to ask for a reading from Orula. While Orula was consulting, the snake slid under the mat and was waiting for an opportunity to strike. The Odu that came in the reading told Orula to prepare a broth of a sweet potato and give it to the one who came to consult. Immediately, he turned to Elegua, his assistant, and asked him to bring him a heavy mortar so he could grind the sweet potato on the mat. Elegua set down the mortar right on top of the snake’s head. Orula began to pound heavily with his divining chain, mashing the sweet potato into a paste, and at the same time, without knowing it, he killed the snake who was hiding under the mat. One enemy down, and Orula hadn’t even realized yet that there was a plot against him!
Seeing this, the flea was terrified. He didn’t know how he could attack and kill Orula without the help of his friends, so he confessed everything. “I’m sorry, Orula!” he cried. “My friends wanted to kill you, I just came along hoping that I could warn you and prevent such a terrible crime. I mean you no harm.”
Orula wasn’t deceived for a minute. He cursed the flea and said “from this day forward, you will have no rest, you will never be still, you will have to hop from one place to another always in search of food, and everyone will consider you a terrible pest and try to kill you when they see you.”
This pataki reminds us that when we act unjustly our plans can backfire against us. We reap what we sow.