“Look! Tembo kidogo!”
“A small elephant? A baby? Mtoto?
“Ndiyo! A baby elephant.”
“Over there. To the left.” Paul, the Kikuyu driver, warden, guide, etc. veered the Land-Rover inside the bush. There they were. Three females, facing outward for any possible predator, standing guard over a crouched form on the ground.
“OMG!” Said T1. There were two T’s so one was called T1 and the other T2. “OMG, is it… is it dead?”
“Hapana, no,” Paul said. “It was just born twenty, maybe thirty minutes ago. It is resting, before it gets up for the first time.”
“Get up?” T2 asked. “Only one hour old and it gets up?”
“Yes,” Paul said. “All babies here have to get up as soon as they are born, otherwise…”
“Otherwise?” V. asked.
“Otherwise they make an easy prey for a pack of lions. Even if the the cow elephants are very strong.”
“The cows?” A. asked.
“Yes, the cows, that’s what the females are called. And the males are bulls.” Paul chuckled. “Don’t ask me, that’s what a Mzungu invented.” Big smile.
“And the mzungu, or rather wazungu,” A. said, “are us, right? The white people?”
“Ndiyo, yes.” Paul said. “But you are not kingereza, not English.”
All four young women laughed. They’d known each other since 1st grade almost. They’d met again for a brief trip in this remote corner of East Africa. V. said: “Look! it’s getting up!”
All were biting their nails. The baby elephant struggled to get up. Raised its head. Fell. Raised itself again. Fell again, while the females stood guard around it.
“Come on! Come on! Come on! You can do it! Get up!”
“Yes! That’s it!”
“I am the…”
“I am the King of the world!”
“Well done dear”, Mom says.
“Let’s go now. Too many wazungu watching us.”
“And where are we going, Mom?”
“Home, dear. Daddy has prepared a vegetarian lasagna. I’m sure you will like it.”
“And off they went in the sunset…”
What sunset? Check the script, man. That ain’t no sunset. CUT. CUT!
Location: Maasai Mara, Kenya, East Africa. Equinoxio Time Patrol log year: 2011. All (exceptional) photos, (c)ourtesy Gini. Thank you for joining us on Equinoxio. Kwaheri sassa. See you soon.