AN AFRICAN DRUM that once lived in a music school dreamt of one day taking part in an orchestra. "My name is Djembe and I am very popular in Western Africa", he used to say to the other musical instruments, who rather avoided him, considering him an outsider and not really giving him a chance to prove his worth.
So, one day that the musical instruments were rehearsing on stage, he plucked up the courage to introduce himself and show them his talent. "If you only let me play with you, I'm sure you will love me and tomorrow's show will be a big success", the drum told them. Yet they ignored him once more. As soon as he went away, even, the regular drum said: "What an outrage, to have musicians coming from Africa and take our jobs!".
Desperate, our good African drum sat silently in his corner and watched their rehearsal, trying to understand why they rejected him. When night came and the other musical instruments went to their beds, he found it hard to sleep. Instead, he got up and went straight to the rehearsal room where he played music alone. So great was his devotion that he took no notice when some of the musical instruments, that happened to pass, by stopped to hear his music.
When they went back to their rooms, they discussed his case with great interest. "He is very talented, but we can't possibly have him in our band", the drum admitted. The other musical instruments then realized they had been unfair with him. Still, they had doubts as to whether he would be a good fit for their orchestra.
When the next day came, they all gathered again for a final rehearsal on stage. The African drum again stood in his corner and silently watched them. During the show, however, the unexpected happened: the drum accidentally broke the drumstick, and the crowd went speechless, not knowing what to expect next.
"Who will pass the beat now?", they wondered and stood there staring at each other. Ashamed of his terrible misfortune, the drum gathered the broken pieces of the drumstick from the ground and whispered to the other musical instruments: "The African drum doesn't need a stick to produce sound...".
Without further ado they all agreed to give him the opportunity he wanted. He happily got on stage and passed the beat to the other musical instruments. Soon enough he proved to be much more talented than they had ever even expected.
When the show came to an end, the audience gave everybody a big round of applause. They even asked the African drum to give a small performance by himself so that they would get to know the sounds of Africa better. Djembe then gave his best self, alternating between a slow and a fast tempo and using different speeds and rhythms, to the point where they were all left speechless. As soon as the show was over the audience burst into applause and the musical instruments made him an official offer to join their orchestra.
As for the regular drum? After buying a new drumstick, he made friends with the African drum, and they came to an agreement to evenly split work or even collaborate on occasion so they would both get to show their best selves on stage and get an equal share of applause.