One day when Changó was having fun somewhere, he heard that somebody was looking for him
“There’s an old fella here and he says he’s your half-brother. He wants to talk to you.”
“I’ll see who it is.” And off he went.
A long embrace joined them after so long a separation. Lots of things had happened in the lives of both Changó and Babalú Ayé.
“But…what’s up? You look sort of run down.”
“You can not imagine what I’ve been through. I’m a wreck. And to make matters worse, people run away from me, scared of my sickliness. I’m always alone. If, at least, I had the company of some little animal.”
“Well, that’s easy. You can have my horse.”
“Do you think I am fit to ride a horse? Thank you, brother, but that is not what I’m looking for.”
Changó remained thoughtful. Other ideas started to flutter in his mind.
“Hmmm! a song bird is no good for you either. It’ll sing your head off and there won’t be much conversation.”
“Uh-huh!”
“A turtle…what for? It would only slow you down more.”
“That’s right.”
“And a cock?…No, no way. It’ll keep you awake all of the time and it will always be after the hens.”
“You are right…but…how about a pair of good dogs?”
“Dogs? Dogs! That’s it! Now…where can I get you two dogs? Let’s see…let’s see…who has…? Hell! No one but Ogún. What do I do now?”
“What’s up with him, Changó? Can’t he give you a couple of dogs?”
“We are always at loggerheads. Never mind, I’ll see what I can do.“Ha! Ha! Ha! Don’t make me laugh! A favour? You?” retorted Ogún.
‘It’s not for me. It’s a sick old man who is always alone. I need two good dogs to accompany him. I’ll give you anything you want in exchange.”
“Uh-huhhh! So this is it. Well, since they are not for you, I’ll give them to you. But…in exchange you have to perform a trick.”
“What? Ogún, I am not a magician. What do you have in mind?”
“You want dogs, do you? So, find a way, right now, to be in front of me without me having to look at you. If you manage to do that, you will have your dogs. If you don’t, tough luck.”
As it was to be expected, Changó got mad because Ogún’s conditions were impossible. In no time he started to shoot out flashes, beams and rays all over the place. That did it! All those stray rays in Ogún’s forge, in such a small place, with so many dry plants around. A dense smoke began to form. Soon a hazy blanket lay between Changó, and Ogún. There was so much smoke Changó could not see Ogún anywhere. Smoke enough for Changó to become invisible to Ogún. Without having meant to do so, the drum maker had accomplished the impossible.
“Dammit all, Changó! Why do you always manage to pull it off? Look at all this damned crud!”
“You wanted me to disappear.”
“Take the dogs! Clear off and take your idiot smoke with you! PUFF!!”
That is how it happened.
That is how Babalú Ayé got his two dogs, thanks to his half-brother, Changó.
He can still be seen about the place, with his two watch dogs, as generous as usual, as patient as usual, as wise as usual...