KING SANGO was acquainted with many deadly charms, and he once
happened to discover a preparation by which he could attract lightning.
He foolishly decided to try the effect of the charm first of all on his own
palace, which was at the foot of a hill.
Ascending the hill with his courtiers, the King employed the charm: a
storm suddenly arose, the palace was struck by lightning and burnt to
the ground, together with Sango’s whole family.
Overcome with grief at having lost his possessions, and above all his
sons, the impetuous King resolved to retire to a corner of his kingdom
and to rule no more. Some of his courtiers agreed with him, and others
tried to dissuade him from the plan; but Sango in his rage executed a
hundred and sixty of them—eighty who had disagreed with him, and
eighty who had agreed too eagerly!
Then, accompanied by a few friends, he left the place and started on his
long journey. One by one his friends deserted him on the way, until he
was left alone, and in despair he decided to put an end to his life, which
he rashly did.
When they heard of the deed, his people came to the spot and gave him
an honourable funeral, and he was ever afterwards worshipped as the
god of thunder and lightning. So, among all the Yorubas, when people
see the flash of lightning followed by the sullen roar of thunder, they
remember Sango’s rage after the destruction of his palace, and exclaim: Long live the King.