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|The Angel's Backyard / Chukwuma Odoh, Peter|
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The Angel`s Backyard, a fiction, is an African philosophical exploration of the mystery of death, the imperfection of man and the involvement of God in the affairs of man. In the story, Abana Ozongwu , a rural dweller, mistakes the bright moonlight for daybreak and goes to his farm in the dead of night. As he returns very early in the morning, he is jolted by the news of the untimely death of his kinsman Chief Oscar Maduka.
Strongly believing in God as the maker and controller of the universe in whose hands life and death rests, Abana takes a swipe at him for his shoddy treatment of human beings especially in the arbitrariness of his selection of persons that he kills. Abana vehemently accused him of harbouring a latent subterranean malevolence against human beings. This callousness typified by the untimely death of Chief Oscar – an exceptionally good and generous man and other acts of injustice by God galled Abana.
Worried by the sublimity of Abana”s feelings and the extremism of his thoughts and driven by love to redirect his misguided perceptions, the Holy Spirit carry Abana alive to the underworld. There he is shown the last judgment during which Chief Oscar”s life from the cradle to the grave is laid bare. Abana then realized the folly of his spurious indictment of God and naïve vouch for Chief Oscar since no one can know all the things that another person is capable of doing and that even angels have backyards. He saw that the life of man is a litany of transgressions and that his redemption is only possible by the grace of God. Abana returns to the world to find that it has moved far ahead of him.