Monday, August 7, 2017

Work in progress entitled, "The White Rhino" by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren.

The shootings had alerted the guards at the station in the national park. Cameras had been mounted on all corners in the park. One of the guards in the control room checked the monitors to find out what led to the shooting. He saw Dante chasing an intruder in one of the monitors. Then, he picked up his handset and called Sizwe, the head of operations.
Sizwe was in the next office reading a newspaper when his phone rang. He dropped the paper by his side and grabbed his handset from the table. “WHAT?” Sizwe answered the call. He sat up, gazing at the ceiling.
“We have an intruder!” the man in the control room disclosed. He yawned.
“Where?” asked Sizwe and adjusted.
“I think he came for Dante!”
“The rhino?”
“Yes, sir.”
“SHIT!” Sizwe banged the table as his countenance fell. “Keep your eyes open and watch his movement. Keep me updated. I am going there right away!” Sizwe dropped the call. He placed his handset in his pocket. He rose from the chair and made for the door. Once he was outside, he slammed the door behind him and secured it. He turned and glanced about. Some guards were around. He adjusted his huge frame and cleared his throat. “Guys!” he bellowed. Sizwe seemed to get their attention with the single call.
Everyone abandoned what they were doing and glanced up at him.
“We have an intruder! He came for the rhino. Get the van!” Sizwe spoke at the top of his voice.
“Yes, sir!” about three men or more chorus. Everyone was engaged. One of the drivers rushed to the garage to get the van.
One guard walked up to Sizwe. He looked pale as if he was under the weather and had not tasted a good meal for days. Fairly scrawny, his eyes had turned yellow with fever. “Boss,” he coughed violently, bending his body and shivering. “I wanted to see you earlier. But I was weak. I need to see the doctor.”
Sizwe went closer. He felt his neck with the back of his hand. “Bojo, you need medication. Take permission from the admin and go to the hospital.”
“Thank you, sir.” Bojo bowed a thousand times. He turned and faced the way to the administrative block. Walking as if unable to hurt a fly, Bojo could hardly coordinate his steps. He went like a steam engine going through a deplorable road. The fever was taking its toll. How did it get to this point? Health is wealth but some people don’t take care of themselves. Paying attention to their health is like a mountain too high to climb. Sizwe crossed his hands over his body and watched him disappeared into one of the offices in the admin block. Once the man had gone, he sniffed and returned his gaze to the other people.  
About six or more guards were ready. As they waited for the van to roll out of the garage, the man in the control room called again. Sizwe adjusted his earpiece. He went aside to receive the intelligence. Moments later, the call dropped. Sizwe breathed deeply. It seemed things were not as bad as he had thought. Not long after, the van arrived. Sizwe and the guards jumped into the vehicle and they drove to the scene.  
Like Jonah in the belly of the big fish, Gunter was trapped in the hole and could not get out. Dante was circling the hole, growling at the unfortunate soul. The man was yet to regain his consciousness. Immediately the van pulled up at the scene and the guards who had often fed Dante alighted from the vehicle, the rhino calmed down. He turned and retreated to a corner. The rhino sat under a shade created by a small mango tree expectantly. They have always made the difference in his life. Sizwe, in particular, has a heart of gold. He fed the animals each time he visited the area. Now, it was the rhino’s turn to benefit from his benevolence. The rhino knew his presence will put a good meal on his table. All that is needed at this point was to be patient. And Sizwe did not fall short of his expectation.
One of the men went to the back of the van. He carried a sack of grass and walked to the rhino and emptied it on the ground. Dante was pleased with the meal. The timely intervention of the men had saved Gunter from further knocks from the angry hands of the rhino.
The rhino could not have asked for more. He rose to his feet and began to munch the grass quietly. Sizwe will forever be remembered by the animals. The rhino has good senses of smell and hearing. How Dante could forget the men that fed him?


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