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“Is this the same river were getting mud from?” the boy asked.
“Yes? But further along its course, come on,” he said as he got to the other side, with the
boy following. They proceeded into the taller bushes along a green, short grass path. Flowering
bushes taller than the man grew in bunches of different sizes, with carpet- grass paths clearly
connecting all around them.
“Stop!” the man said suddenly to the boy, who stopped immediately and waited.
“Something is stamping,” the boy said with a low tone, as the stamping got closer. For a
moment, it stopped, and the boy started moving.
“Stop!” his father insisted, as abruptly, a buffalo charged out of the bushes straight in front
of them. It was so heavy that the ground shook as it stamped towards them while puffing. With
their eyes wide opened, the man grabbed his shocked son‟s arm as they backed away. Around
and away, they turned and fled.
They ran round on the paths around the bushes as the buffalo charged after them. It rushed
its body through the leaves, as it closed-in on the boy–who was just behind his father holding
onto the puppy. The puppy groaned and barked to scare the buffalo away. Round and round, they
tried to lose it, and suddenly, the man grabbed the boy and rushed with him into a bush.
“Shut it up!” he whispered strongly to the boy, who struggled to control his breathing while
wrestling to keep the puppy‟s mouth closed. The puppy shook its head and groaned in attempt to
free its mouth.
Just outside the bush, the buffalo ran, round and round, before finally stopping and sniffing
around as it stepped through very slowly. The man cautiously moved a few leaves, and as he
peered out at the beast. He noticed bleeding claw marks on its front leg, the same as those on the
puppy, only more severe. And as he looked more keenly into the animal‟s eyes, he noticed that it
was in distress.
Slowly, the buffalo walked around and away between the bushes, and by observing it, the
man realized that it had been attacked by the same animal which had attacked the puppy. He
thought that it was not chasing them, but instead, it was probably following them for safety.
“What was it doing here?” the boy asked as he followed him out of the bushes, “The plants
here can‟t be eaten?”
“Something is wrong,” his father said as he looked around to confirm that the animal had
indeed left, “we have to go,”
“Is it gone?” the boy asked as he let down the puppy, which had been struggling to get free.
“Yes,” his father assured, “come on,” he said as the puppy ran off after him, the boy
following it.
By mid-morning, they had reached the section of the clear stream in which clay had formed.
Being larger than the rest of the river, it formed a fairly flat pool; from which the stream flew on
down a gentle slope out of the jungle and into the grassy, savannah woodland. Beside the pool,
the man stopped and took off the leather bag and his furry coat.
The boy picked up the puppy.