Things Fall Apart

Uchendu tells a story about a kite who takes a duckling and a chick. (a) What is the point of the story? (b) How does it relate to the encounter between the Abame and the whites?

This answer is mentioned in Part 2 chapter 14.

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The Igbo do not trust men who remain silent Uchendu relates his parable:

Never kill a man who says nothing. Those men of Abame were fools. What did they know about the man?” He ground his teeth again and told a story to illustrate his point. ‘Mother Kite once sent her daughter to bring food. She went, and brought back a duckling. ‘You have done very well,’ said Mother Kite to her daughter, ‘but tell me, what did the mother of this duckling say when you swooped and carried its child away?’ ‘It said nothing,’ replied the young kite. ‘It just walked away.’ ‘You must return the duckling,’ said Mother Kite. ‘There is something ominous behind the silence.’ And so Daughter Kite returned the duckling and took a chick instead. ‘What did the mother of this chick do?’ asked the old kite. ‘It cried and raved and cursed me,’ said the young kite. ‘Then we can eat the chick,’ said her mother. ‘There is nothing to fear from someone who shouts.’ Those men of Abame were fools.”

The white men are not afraid of the Igbo and they show little emotion. This makes Uchendu nervous. He believes there is power and deception behind their silence.