In my entire days in hunting i had never seen a beautiful gazelle like the one which was standing few metres away from me Rarua the chief hunter.
It was a chilly morning and the sun’s rays were forcing its way up the horizon. In my twenty five years of hunting, i had become a splendid sharp shooter. The only time i did not kill an animal was only when i decided to spare the poor animal from a cold death. On this day, it was during a prolonged drought and all wild animals were dying of thirst and lack of pasture. Normally, gazelles graze in groups of tens and since they are a prey to lions and wild dogs, they are always alert.
My bow was in place and ready to release the arrow but i had a change of mind. I withdrew the arrow and rubbed my eyes as if i had encountered morning mist. I took a close look at the beautiful animal which was standing before me. I made half a stride with my right leg to get a clear view. In the whole village people refered to me as Rarua the sharp shooter. I was certain that i was going to shoot as usual. But before i took the life out of the poor animal, the urge to admire it was stirring in me. Confusion mingled together with excitement and for a short period i didn’t know what to do. The little history i had about gazelles was that they are a genus (gazella) found in the antelope family, six species of which can be found throughout Africa. I took a keen look at the dazzling eyes, small shaped nose, strong planted horns and a long neck.
“I won’t kill this gazelle now,” i said to myself.
“keep calm Rarua, it is not yet time.”
I took one step backward so that i could come up with a smart plan. The thought of holding its horns firmly in my palms left a thrilling anticipation inside my belly. I made another glance at the beautiful gazelle and this time i was salivating.
“Camouflage Rarua, it will give you a chance to show the gazelle new grazing areas.” I whispered to myself.
I took out the antelope’s skin which was inside my bag. The sun was very hot and therefore, the gazelle could not move from the bushes’ shade. I covered myself with the antelope’s skin and moved towards the gazelle on my knees and hands. To my surprise, it did not move an inch and for a moment i felt like i was another gazelle.
As the sun was setting on the horizon, i realized that i had not killed an animal for my two wives and seven children. Confusion mingled together with shock which made my heart jump. I had spend the whole day feeding the my beautiful gazelle and funny enough i was enjoying the moment. When i neared home i started limping.
“I had one of the worst days my dear wife, i hurt my leg.” I had to cheat inorder to cover up my shame of coming home empty handed.
“I know tomorrow i must kill an animal. Rarua never comes home empty handed.”
The following days were more similar because i spent all my hunting time with the beautiful gazelle under the shades in the forest. My agony started one day when i found the gazelle lying down and it could not even move its tooth. The poor animal stayed in pain and day in day out i could not help.. Things even got worse when i also got sick and started losing weight. I lost interest in hunting and finally my two wives had to nurse me in my little hut.
As i looked at the lion’s skin that i had hanged on the wall, i felt helpless and worthless. The virus that i was carrying in my blood could not be cured. As days went by, pain and guilty was eating a hole in my heart. One day when my wife brought me bone supu, I felt guilty wash me like an acid bath. I turned on my bamboo bed and faced the wall. “Rarua will never use his bows and arrows again.” I said to myself.