Monday, 13 April 2015

Habitat

Inspiration: Picture sent by Nienke Huitenga.
The picture is an add for Savora Hotels made by McCann Marketing Services


Hunger is a horrible feeling, it’s the sense of having an emptiness inside, a hollowness that makes you weak. I had not yet experienced it on that specific morning, when I overheard two villagers discussing their craving for food. After a successful hunt I was resting in my usual tree, accompanied by the hind legs of a gazelle, just a few yards away from the villagers. I don’t think the people noticed my presence, but maybe they were just too hungry and weak to care.

Really, I can understand lots of human talk, but some concepts are strange to me, such as jobs and money. I have a vague feeling it has something to do with food and survival. This morning, while I was enjoying a full belly on the shadowy branch of my tree, I overheard them talking about leaving the savanna and heading for the city, traveling towards the sunset, in order to escape the hunger.

I forgot all about it for some time, living my own life in my daily routine of sleeping my days away and hunting at night. One morning, I was brutally waked by loud and roaring noises and a horrible smell. Provoked like that I jumped from my tree, roaring back at the big loud monsters approaching. All of a sudden people were shouting at me, trying to drive me away. Irritated, I snarled and hissed, defending my territory. But it was just me against lots of them, so I took my leave and wandered off, determined to come back later.

And so I did, sneaking my way back, sensing from far something terrible had happened. The grass was gone, the pool had changed into a puddle of debris and my tree, my lovely tree, had disappeared. There was nothing, a wasteland of nothing, a vast landscape of stench and mud. I was devastated, not sure what to do. Smelling their food, I circled around the camp of the people, but they kept chasing me away. Knowing I had to find a new place to live I tried to follow the herds of prey, only to be met by hostile predators, hunting the same game. I became an outcast, stealing whatever I could get my paws on.

It was the start of my acquaintance with hunger and not to my pleasure. One night I remembered the talk of the villagers and decided to follow their lead. I started my journey towards the sunset, the promised land, the city. 

The landscape has changed. It smells a lot like the foul smell of the destruction of my habitat. My pawns have blisters from the hot and hard surface. My ears are ringing with the constant noises. There are people everywhere, screaming at me, trying to scare me, smelling of fear themselves. It is awful, all of it, but I have to endure. Most of all I hate the trees, they are sleek and slippery, hard to climb, almost impossible. I miss the branches and even more the shade in these leafless trees. I rest here, in one of those strange trees. I sleep in broad daylight, exposed to the sun, waiting for the night to fall.  

I’d like to know how much further I have to travel to reach the city and wonder what it will be like. It cannot be worse than this. I am yearning to end my travels and reach that promised land. I can almost picture myself in my beautiful green tree, standing in the outstretched grassland of the city. 

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