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An American family went on safari in Kenya.
They saw: wildebeest, lions, cape buffalo, vervet monkeys, elephants, a leopard, warthogs, reticulated giraffes, an olive baboon, mouse birds, dwarf mongoose, plains zebra, pink flamingos, and too many Thompson’s gazelles.
The little girl cried because they had come all this way and not seen a rhinoceros. Her daddy apologized on behalf of all humanity for greed, corruption, and the inability of his generation to save the Earth’s natural heritage for hers. The ranger said the preserve had several rhino, but the tours don’t see them often because they’re such loners. It was better this way, because those animals are aggressive and wild. Didn’t the little girl like the elephants better? He didn’t want her to see the hornless carcass he’d found that morning or the guards posted near each rhino with their scary guns. The girl didn’t sleep that night, thinking of all the pictures of the pretty rhinos in her room at home. The father didn’t sleep that night, wondering if the guide was telling the truth. He continued to feel guilty and inadequate.
They did not see: the moon casting glimmers on the watering hole or the ginger steps of the three-toed feet as the black rhinos came out of the bush to greet their friends and neighbors with sniffs and nose-rubs. As they ate, drank, made love, and checked in with each other, their horns glowed ghostly white and their black eyes glinted. The little girl might have cried to see that they were even more beautiful than her pictures at home. And when the sun began to color the sky a deep purple, they huffed their goodbyes and went their separate ways before the groaning trucks and shouting humans came back again.
#Unreal #FlashFiction #CreativeWriting #ShortStory #Fiction #Safari #Illustration #Africa #WildAnimals
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