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The Hunter Warrior

Sixty seconds to dinner.

By Novel AllenPublished 28 days ago 3 min read
13
AI

Nyalla crouched low behind the large cluster of Mopane trees with their beautiful butterfly shaped leaves. Her eyes were glued to the grazing animal, cautiously awaiting her kill for the evening meal. The day was warm, but a slight breeze caressed the overhead limbs as they swayed delicately and soothingly, cooling her skin. Nearby, the Kigelia Africana, the comical looking Sausage tree, with its fruit closely resembling a sausage, swayed teasingly, inviting a juicy bite. Yet, she mused, this fruit is poisonous to humans, while animals can somehow devour it without harm.

Fifty-five seconds by the shadow of the sun. Time was of the essence as she patiently waited for the blue wildebeest to draw closer, Nyalla wondered at the beauty of the many trees around her.

Africa is home to a diverse range of tree species, each with unique characteristics and ecological significance. Many notable types of trees can be found across the African continent. These trees were her refuge and constant companion out here in the wild.

There are various Acacia species which are often characterized as the giraffes’ favorite meal, due to their thorny branches and nutritious leaves.

Baobabs, also known as the 'Tree of Life', have thick trunks and are known for their longevity and ability to store water.

Marula, is famous for its fruits, which are used to make a fruity liqueur.

Quiver Tree. A giant aloe plant, named for the San people’s use of its branches to make quivers.

Whistling Thorn, an ant-friendly acacia species that has a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Yellowwood. South Africa’s national tree, valued for its timber.

Forty-five seconds by the shadow of the sun.

Fever Tree (Vachellia xanthophloea): Has a distinctive yellow bark and is often found in swampy areas.

Spekboom. An edible succulent shrub that is also an excellent carbon sequestrator.

These trees not only contribute to the beauty and biodiversity of Africa, but also play vital roles in the ecosystems where they are found. They provide habitat and food for wildlife, contribute to soil health, and are culturally significant to local communities.

Today, however, these trees were her dearest allies. They each hid a secret.

~~~~~~

The wildebeeste grunted, moaned and inched closer towards her.

Checking the shade from the sun, she calculated that thirty seconds had passed.

Nyalla brought her mind back to her target, she had to act within the space of sixty seconds, her quiver was filled with arrows and her bow poised to take the fatal shot. Outside of that one-minute window was the difference between a full stomach and a night of hunger, berries alone could not fill a hunter's belly. The wildebeeste could be gone in the blink of an eye, and also pose a threat if alerted to her presence, its horns wielded as a deadly weapon.

Slowly, she drew back the arrow, the seconds were ticking away, it was now or never. The animal raised its head in alarm and sniffed the air.

Its peace disturbed, a crow suddenly soared into the sky, alerting the beeste to the danger.

With no more time to loose, Nyalla let the arrow fly. The missile found the animal's heart. It moaned and stumbled, startled eyes questioning, as it fell bleeding to the ground.

Ten seconds as her brows dripped

She raced to its side. Seconds from death, she touched her hand to the heart of the animal, thanking it for the gift of its life to feed her tribe.

The wildebeeste bellowed, but only a soft echo could be heard upon the wind as its lifeblood and heart surrendered to the cycle of life.

Within its gift of death came the promise of continuity for the living.

Nyalla had succeeded. Her sixty seconds to her kill had been utilized with the precision born of a Zulu warrior.

In the distance, she could hear the rustle of the bushes as competition aroused itself from the foliage where the hungry animals could smell fresh blood.

Raising her head, she pursed her lips and warbled in a birdlike triumphant whistle. From behind the many trees, menacing, armed and stalwart warriors emerged to carve the beast into mobile morsels for the cooking fire.

The undulating movement of the bushes retreated as quickly as it had come.

She whispered a silent prayer to the trees for sheltering her brothers and sisters.

A well deserved minute of existence she thought, as she smiled in triumph.

................................................................

Adventure
13

About the Creator

Novel Allen

Every new day is a blank slate. Write something new.

Reader insights

Outstanding

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Comments (10)

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  • Sid Aaron Hirji15 days ago

    nice take on the 60 seconds

  • Amazing take on 60 seconds… love the African reflections

  • Shirley Belk25 days ago

    Beautiful reflection of life in Africa. Thank you, Novel

  • Cathy holmes25 days ago

    The necessary heartbreak in the cycle of life. I am a meat eater, though I'd probably starve if I had to kills my own. Great story, exquisitely written.

  • Christy Munson28 days ago

    The sacrifice — “She raced to its side. Seconds from death, she touched her hand to the heart of the animal, thanking it for the gift of its life to feed her tribe.” So sad 😞 beautiful writing

  • Test28 days ago

    This was absolutely riveting from beginning to end - this line "Within its gift of death came the promise of continuity for the living" is so stunningly simple and beautiful and always the artwork is perfect-I love the cover picture so much 🤍

  • This was so sad 🥺 My heart broke for the wildebeest 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

  • Mariann Carroll28 days ago

    I love the imagery your words portrayed in the story. Excellent work 💕👏🏽

  • Babs Iverson28 days ago

    Loved your adventurous story and the triumphant ending!!!💕❤️❤️

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