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The Wild Animals of the Savanna

June 21, 2010
File:Tropical savannah (Top End).jpg

Photo Credit: Bidgee

Dotted with trees and bushes the savanna appeared desolate at first glance. When I continued further I heard some activity behind me. After several miles I reached an Acacia tree. Strangely, its leaves were large enough to fold around my entire body. I rested here and stared out into nothingness as the noises persisted.

File:Male silverback gorilla.jpg

Photo Credit: Mila Zinkova

Two pairs of eyes appeared from above. The animal edged forward and swung the rest of its body down onto the grass. It was a large gorilla with sad brown eyes. Its hand reached out and took the corner of my shirt sleeve and twirled it around, getting a sense of the texture. I stood up and became aware of its size. The gorilla was monstrous. Before I could take a step back it leaned close to my face, studying my temples, my mouth, nose and ears. My ears were then tugged lightly. The gorilla opened its mouth exposing its large teeth.

Nowhere to go.

Frightened, yet fascinated I kept my eyes open. A deep sound resonated. It sounded like mad drumming and I realized the gorilla was laughing. In the corner of my eye I saw six large cats crouching forward. As they grew closer I made out one tiger, one lion and four cheetahs. They approached with stealth and a low growling. I turned around and saw zebras approaching. Gazelles. Elephants. Giraffes.

File:TheCheethcat.jpg

Photo Credit: James Temple

An intense feeling came over me. I was surrounded by creatures who were welcoming me onto scared ground. The gorilla handed me a large spinning top made of terracotta. He used his hands to illustrate how it worked. I twisted the bottom half and the top in opposite directions. It spun so fast it fell out of my hands. I was instructed to twist it again. The top went forward with incredible speed. The cheetahs followed it into the distance and brought it back. I repeatedly twisted the top until all the animals were chasing it. I noticed later how a light inside the top grew brighter each time it traveled.

Full lucidity came when one of the cheetahs playfully pounced onto my back while chasing the top. I fell forward and felt the weight of the its body pressed hard against my spine. It wasn’t painful, but the pressure was enough to confirm I was dreaming. We continued to play, communicating only through our minds as other creatures came later that night. When it was too dark I sat down under Acacia and listened to the savanna grow quiet. The creatures remained close.

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