The Lion Roars at Dawn

On a camping trip to Maasai Mara I had a new kijana as my camp helper to make the fire in the morning for chai.  We slept in different tents. Early one morning I called to him to go make the fire. I heard the kijana getting up and the tent zipper opening. Then I also heard the unmistakable low grunts of a simba very close to camp. I called out,  careful not to tell the kijana there was a lion or he might have panicked. “Maingi, come back.”

       “Why?” Maingi asked. Suddenly the lion roared, shaking the air. Maingi dove into his tent. We stayed in our tents until the lion had gone and the sun had risen. We drank our chailate that day.

Dominik Kamonde Kitonyi, Tala

Newsreels Fire Imagination

During World War II we sometimes saw black and white newsreels with moving pictures of how the war was progressing. We kids enjoyed watching the tanks clank across the screen firing rounds of ammunition. Sometimes the newsreels also showed other news. One time we watched a motorcycle daredevil drive off a ramp and fly over a group of men laid out on the ground like logs.  This fired my imagination. I went and built a ramp of my own. Then I persuaded my brothers, Willard and Howard, to lie down on the ground.  Trusting me, they agreed.  I pushed my bike a long way behind my ramp, and then rode it as fast as I could. The ramp launched me into the air, but not as far as I had hoped and I landed on top of my brothers. I thought I could fix the ramp for a better leap, but my brothers didn’t want me to try the stunt a second time.

Dilly Andersen, Laikipia