Chapter #3: The Savanna
The Savanna beyond Devil’s Peak was a welcome sight. The rains have ceased their deluge of continual down-pouring, and the Kikuyu were nowhere to be seen.
Mandawa now led the Khans into the Lion’s territory. The guide keeping sure to stay to the Savanna’s cropped path.
“..... Fear not of the lions of The Savanna hunter man..... For it is not us that they seek of for meat.....”
“..... That’s comforting.....” Stephanie Khan remarked solemnly. Thomas Khan drew her in close. Tommy, Lupita, and Anthony stayed close behind.
Mandawa paused on sense of an approaching pride from the west.
“..... Down with you all..... Be crouching low you all now need, less the pride mistake us for feast.....”
Thomas and Stephanie drew their three children into their grasp as the bent low to allow the pride to pass. The pride consisted of one matured lion. The majesty of its silent stride, made the great animal to appear as being of royal berth by all that bare witness of its existence.
“..... It is Moyjo..... I recognize his mane..... Look upon him, for he is one of the greatest of cats....”
The Great Lion, it had a mane of red and a coat of yellowed orange. Moyjo The Great Lion was followed by a lioness of similar coat recognition, and by three cubs.
“.... Much sadness, the pride must now face.....” Mandawa continued to comment on the passing pride low. “Of their pride, two cubs have been lost..... Possibly hunters with nothing better to do, and with nowhere better to go.....”
Thomas Khan bowed his head silently. The man being regarded as one of the most famous hunters in the world, even he would not hunt down a cub..... There is no sport in it.
Moyjo turned south. The Great Lion roared, and stopped its progression to allow his pride to pass before him.
“..... Remain silent, and do not move..... Moyjo knows that we are here..... Do nothing threatening, and he shall leave us be.....”
Stephanie Khan was now frightened more than she had ever been. The Great Lion returned its attention to his pride. The big cat now following the lions close behind.
“...... Wait now until they reach the grasslands beyond The Savanna.... I shall keep watch.....”
The sounds of something slithering nearby drew Lupita Khan to some concern. Mandawa looked to the southwest in alarm. The tall reeds were now giving way to an approaching serpent of incredible size.
“Anaconda! Back up on to your feet..... Run, onward! Keep to the path!” Their three children racing out onto the path before them, Thomas and Stephanie Khan followed close behind.
Mandawa kept his eyes on the approaching anaconda. The snake, it was at least twenty one hundred long.
“..... My what an enormous beast you are risen.....” Mandawa commented on the size of the anaconda, as he pulled a jar from his pack.
Turning loose the lid, and stepping free of the fumes within, the native guide ran a line of the foul smelling liquid across the path.
Securing the lid back on top of the jar and returning the jar to his pack, the guide hurried to catch up to the Khans; Mandawa keeping watchful sight for the anaconda and for any other lions that may pass his way.
The anaconda slithered slowly to the path. The foul smelling liquid deterring the snake from tracing their steps. The anaconda slithered on past the path and into the plains to the east.
Thomas Khan shook his head on the fast thinking of their guide. The family now slowed their pace.
“..... What did you do Mandawa?”
“..... Urine of skunk..... It is useful as deterrent for many of nature’s creature.....”
“..... Something tells me, I don’t even want to know how you managed to get that......”
“..... Probably not the best of things to share with family.....”
“..... Thank you Mandawa..... I will be forever in your debt....."
"Think nothing of it Thomas..... The bridge to the grove of Yaba is near..... we must now prepare ourselves for the many other dangers we may be soon facing....."