Strange scuttlebutt surrounding a purported prophecy coming from a newborn baby spawned panic in a region of Malawi this week and had mothers rushing to feed their children porridge.
The weirdness began in the early morning hours of Tuesday when word emerged from a village that a baby had just been born and shockingly spoke to its mother.
Onlookers were reportedly stunned by the incident and even more unnerved by what the infant had to say.
According to media coverage from Malawi, the baby warned that all children would die unless they were fed porridge.
The story apparently spread like wildfire immediately after the alleged incident as phone calls in homes throughout the village's district began ringing with word of the infant's instructions at all hours of the night.
In a testament to the hysteria spawned by the tale, a reporter in Malawi recalled being awakened at 3 AM by a desperate neighbor telling him of the porridge prophecy.
According to the concerned friend, not following the child's declaration could result in his children being killed in a massive storm.
As often happens in cases like these, the message mutated as it traveled throughout Malawi to the point that eventually adults were also prescribed porridge by the prophecy.
By the time morning arrived, countless households in the country had heard of the infant's words and dutifully dined on porridge in order to protect themselves.
Although in the light of day some people were feeling rather silly for having gotten swept up in the frenzy, the origins and veracity of which remain disputed by authorities in Malawi, others were more nonchalant about the whole affair.
"You never know what happens," one resident mused to the Malawi News Agency, "if it's a hoax, well, what do we lose? After all, we eat porridge sometimes, don't we?"
Indeed, let's hope that the mania was merely the rumor mill at work rather than a genuine premonition, since some Malawians likely slept through the late night commotion about a porridge prophecy.
Source: Nyasa Times