Philip evans


 

Recently Rated:

Stats

Blogs: 56
images: 31
Files: 49
Item Bundles: 9

Big Hunt

user image 2017-02-20
By: Philip evans
Posted in: Humor

The man lay silently in the savannah grass of the Ngorongord valley in Tanzania.

He didn't dare breathe or move for startling the Thompson's gazelle that he had tethered to a small Acacia tree.

From his clothing, you would never have guessed that he was Welsh- only his WRU rubber wrist band on his right 'trigger' hand gave it away.

The Blackwood Dentist, Major Orion Jekyll- Hyde-Hunt, was the veteran predator of the Serengeti, as he approached his 75th Birthday intent on giving himself an early birthday present.

He wasn't using the little antelope for target practice- he was after much bigger prey.

During his 40 or so years, since he was honourably discharged from the Army, Major Hunt had spent most of his free time scouring the Dark Continent in pursuit of the 'Big Five'.

Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard, Rhinoceros and African Lion.

His house - called the 'Grange' -was filled with all kinds of 'trophies' of animal heads on his walls, mounted on wooden shields and was testament to the other love of his life- that of the 'dying' art of taxidermy.

To him there was no greater thrill of tracking his victim through the bush, shooting it and then skinning it and stuffing it and mounting it in his study wall.

He would have done that to his women to if UK Law would have allowed it.

He could not describe to an outsider, how big a man it made him feel to shoot a defenceless animal in cold blood.

It was the Major's biggest regret that he had missed the Second World War- on account of being too young- as he would have loved to have had the opportunity to shoot a man or better still a fellow Nazi.

His brain-washed army brain scanned the surrounding Serengeti Plain for signs of the pride.

He was after an African Lion which was on his 'to-do' list before he went to the 'Great White Hunter' in the sky.

The Major believed that all human life on Earth was Alien and came from a place close to the constellation of stars that he was named after.

The only Big Bang Theory that he believed in, was the big bang that came from the end of his hunting rifle.

And then he saw her.

A magnificent African Lioness of around 7 feet from head to the tip of her tail.

Just like in his native Blackwood, it was the women that did all the hard work- hunting and rearing their young- whilst the men laid around in the sun licking their own balls.

The Major didn't want to shoot this perfect evolutionary killing machine- he wanted Leo-the dominant male lion- the inappropriately named King of the Jungle (as Lions do not live in the Jungle but hunt on the open grassland of Central Africa).

The 'Mane Man' if you like- the Major had a vision of Leo, poking his head through the wall above his grey marble Louis X1Vth surround and open fire.

He knew that the lioness would have to kill the prey and then sit back while the dominant male would stroll over eat the 'lions share' of the raw meat and then leave her the leftovers for both her and the cubs.

Once again- like the Blackwood Men on a Friday Night with a kebab.

As in human life, there is a hierarchy or structure into which all animals - human or otherwise- fit- and he- Major Jekyll Hyde-Hunt complete with his high powered telescopic rifle had replaced Leo at the top of the food chain.

The Major wasn't interested in the environment or nature conservation.

He wasn't even interested in eating his prey.

He purely wanted to shoot the beast and brag to his social- climbing friends that he had the money and resources to do something they could not afford to.

When asked by his fellow Monmouth Golf Club members as to why he went to Africa to hunt- he replied arrogantly - because it was 'there'.

He even took in the severed hand of a Mountain Gorilla - an endangered species- so that he could use it as an ashtray for his Cuban cigars.

The Major was loved and loathed in equal measures by the elite golfing fraternity- most of whom secretly despised his opulence and attitude to life- but would not 'break cover' for fear of being ostracised from the 'Club'.

The Monmouth Club was an anachronism in the 21st Century with Members Rules that were a throwback to the days of the Raj in India.

Only the elite could afford its annual membership and green fees - so only the rich used it.

Back in the 21th Century, the Major used his excellent peripheral vision to spot the Head of the Pride, who was sitting in a small clearing of parched grass that he had flattened with his own body weight, casually flicking his tail at the tsetse flies that buzzed his massive bollocks.

He knew that he couldn't hit the beast at this range.

He would have to risk leaving his position and getting closer to the action.

As he did so- he could see the lioness dropping her shoulders and slowly padding forward towards the tethered gazelle- who was just beginning to pick up her scent.

It started to buck wildly and tried to pull herself free from the tree, as the lioness and the rest of the pride began to close in as one on the stricken animal.

Mercifully, the uneven contest was over very quickly, as the Lioness applied a choke hold to the little antelope's neck and the life quickly drained out of the poor creature, whose eyes were the only testament of the pain it felt in its final death throes.

Nature was both wonderful and cruel in equal measures.

The only difference is that animals hunt to eat while humans hunt just for sport.

Major Jekyll-Hyde-Hunt was just such a human.

He was regarded locally as a bit of an eccentric and a lot of a schizophrenic.

Most patients didn't return for treatment to him- as you didn't know which of the dentist's personas would turn up.

The mild mannered one or the raving lunatic one.

He was a nightmare for his nurses to work with, as he would throw instruments at them like he was a Zulu spear-chucker of the highest order at Rorke's Drift, when in his darker moods.

An Assegai from an Asshole Guy.

Yet on other occasions when Dr Jekyll was in the surgery, he could be the most caring, compassionate human being on the Planet.

Then he had patience with his patients.

But when he was in a rage -the only thing that seemed to calm him down was his love of killing innocent warm-blooded creatures.

His nurses would leave Hunting Magazines around the surgery and waiting room in an effort to distract their schizophrenic employer.

The Major, looked through his telescope lens, he could make out the lumbering shape of Leo ambling towards the dead antelope.

There was nothing more than Leo enjoyed than pawing his way through a Thompson Local.

The fact that the gazelle was still tied to the tree made it like a version of leonine swing-ball, as it batted back and for- losing body parts in each successive swing.

The Major held his head still, took a breath and held it without exhaling, as he steadied himself for the money shot.

There were lions all around and a circle of hyenas and other dogs hanging around the kill- waiting for the big cats to finish and take their 'lions share'-so they could scrap over the left-overs.

He was like Lee Harvey Oswald in that Dallas Book Depository just waiting for Jackal O to get its head out of the way so he could shoot the big guy.

As he finally got a clear shot- he lightly pressed to trigger only to hear a metallic clunk.

Something had clogged up the bullet chamber.

Orion could not believe it.

He cleaned his guns more meticulously than a baboon cleaned its red arse.

He inspected the bullet chamber and noticed that there was an obstruction.

As he pulled out the bullet- he could see the smiling face of Nelson Mandela beaming back at him.

There was a tiny African National Congress medal blocking the cylinder.

It was misshapen and bent and had scored the interior of the rifle.

How the Hell had that got there?

In an instant, he realised that last night at Base Camp, he remembered leaving his rifle unguarded for a few minutes outside whilst he used to 'Bush Telegraph' .

"I bet it was that little kid!" said the Major .

He was referring to one of the children of his 'Tour Guides' from the Masai-Mara tribe that had been hanging around his tent- the little disabled one with half a foot from stepping on a landmine- the one that he had clipped round the back of his head.

" I wished that I had hit that little Kaffe harder now!" said Orion.

Suddenly, the Major's blood ran cold.

He realised that the truck that had brought him out to this Protected Wildlife Reserve had buggered off.

What If in Post-Apartheid Africa, the tribespeople no longer had respect for their minority White Rulers and betters?

What if the same thing that happened in Zimbabwe- Rhodesia came to pass and the class structure was upset by revolution?

UDI or You Die?

It meant the same thing to a Great White Hunter with no transport or fresh water in a 300 mile radius.

Surely these people still relied on the illegal revenue that poaching brought to the tribe?

Bob Geldof and Live Aid couldn't have raised THAT much for the local economy?

All these questions started to go through the Major's head.

He appreciated that there were 'no flies on these people' but they wouldn't just leave a white man to die in the Serengeti with all these wild animals running about would they?

After all he would be missed wouldn't he?

The more questions he asked himself the worse his situation seemed.

He HAD been rude to the Guide, Boko Harram or whatever his name was...he couldn't pronounce it so why should he care what he was called.

His money too...surely they would care about that?

He remembered then he had breached his own rules.

His wallet containing his cash had been in the trouser pocket of his khaki shorts and would have been down around his ankles whilst he was distracted using the toilet.

With a ventilation gap under the door and the sides of the kharzi, any little pilfering hands- especially that a child- could have got his wallet out of the pocket.

The Major was in major trouble.

He checked his pocket for ammunition but found only around five bullets left.

He wasn't even sure if his gun would now fire in view of the damage caused by Nelson's Column.

For the first time in his privileged life, Major Jekyll-Hyde felt fear.

He was no longer the predator but was now potential prey and this new realisation brought with it a real sense of genuine terror.

Was Man the only animal intelligent enough to be scared by such a prospect or did that male Thompson's Gazelle killed by the pride early realise what was coming?

Did the animal rank the same as Major Orion Jekyll-Hyde, when it came to God's Master Plan for the Universe and would he get the blame from the Great Creator?

Either way the Buck stopped with him.

For the first time in his life- he felt insignificant.

Could he extricate himself from this life or death situation?

He knew it wouldn't be long before the predators on this vast grassland would pick up his scent- he prayed that they had not lost their fear of man and didn't view him just yet as 'prey'.

With successive holidaymakers and tourists invading this most sacred place on Earth- some of the animals associated human beings with the provision of food instead of actually being food.

But it was only a matter of time before that changed.

The Major decided he would have to be mentally tough as well as physically tough, if he was to survive this ordeal.

He looked at the hot African sun and noted its trajectory in the sky and decided his best bet was to head East towards the border with Kenya, and use the famous Mount Kilimanjaro as a guide.

He knew there were a few freshwater lakes up there in that area and that there were regular charity climbs by the Welsh Rugby Team and other Europeans - so he decided that would be his 'beacon' of hope.

He knew he would have to get rid of his scent to throw off any predators- so the first lump of elephant shit he came across, he would smear his body with as cover.

Lions were wary of elephants.

He decided he would use the long grass to stay out of sight- although it would be a risky strategy as he could just as easily stumble upon a lioness and her cubs which would mean an instant death.

But at least that would be an instant death.

His other big fear was that of standing on a poisonous snake and being bitten resulting in a slow lingering death.

He thought of how babyish some of his patients were in view of the fact they were living in their 'bubble existence' - being frightened of a small injection or a tiny filling.

Out here it was survival of the fittest and a life or death struggle with not just the elements but a lot of the deadly animals, reptiles and other critters found in the World.

He estimated that the journey at its shortest estimate would be at least a week, through some of the harshest terrain on the Planet.

Not like David Attenborough- who had all the creature comforts that the BBC could provide.

The Major cursed his luck and set off rifle in hand ready to make a great trek.

Every step could be his last - so he recced the area carefully before he moved on.

Like a commando, he would run in small bursts, take cover, watch for movement and then move on.

He estimated he had around five- six hours of sunlight left and he would try and find some cover - if possible off the ground to try and sleep.

He was aware that lions and snakes can both climb trees but the way he saw it - gravity would be his friend in that situation - and he needed all the help he could get if he would ever see Wales again alive.

Eventually, the line of tall grass stopped and the Major could see a vast plain of grass that had been grazed flat by the many herds of herbivores that inhabited this area.

Buffalo, antelope, zebras and giraffes to name but a few.

It never ceased to amaze the Major, at this living proof of Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution and the constant change in genetics and mutation that populated this landscape.

He knew that he had little option but to break cover and follow the herd to the nearest watering holes- (again like the Blackwood men) knowing full well that he would not be the only predatory creature doing the same.

In the searing heat, he pushed his safari hat down on his head - being grateful for the limited cover that the wide brim afforded his face.

In the far distance, he could see the heat hazes dancing like genies emerging from some unseen bottle.

Even the metal of his gun barrel felt 'steelworks' hot to the touch, as he slung it over his right shoulder as he began his yomp.

He knew finding fresh drinking water was his priority and also finding a receptacle he could use to carry it in.

Oh what he would give to find an empty Coca-Cola bottle or can, tossed from a visiting Wildlife fan- but there was none.

Just his luck -apart from Blackwood - it turned out to be the only place left on Earth with no litter.

He didn't like being exposed - out in the wide plain in full view of would- be- predators.

He knew he wasn't capable of outrunning them and being in his mid-seventies he couldn't 'stott'- like an antelope to show he was fit and healthy and capable of outrunning the opposition.

He knew full well that in nature it was survival of the fittest- and he was certainly not the fittest.

As he walked along as fast as his blistered feet would carry him, he noticed the giant termite mounds and an aardvark using his long tongue to get a meal in amongst the dust.

The last time he had seen a tongue that size it was attached to 'Kiss' lead singer Gene Simmons.

He marvelled at its ability to adapt to this barren terrain and the delicate ecosystem upon which it depended.

He didn't really care though- he shot it anyway- with one of the few remaining bullets- as he wondered what it tasted like.

Initially, he had missed the target by four feet- like shooting with an air-rifle with dodgy sights on a rigged Fairground booth.

He adjusted and made the appropriate allowance and hit the target right between the eyes.

He dragged the carcass to a nearby bush and began to light a fire by using two pieces of wood and rubbing them today.

The primitive peoples of the Masai Mara call them 'kaambebalongo' or 'magic sticks'.

The equally primitive people of Blackwood call them matches.

He created a wooden spit from some fallen dead branches and toasted the mammal over the fire.

The Major had to take a chance on cooking the creature- as he couldn't eat it raw- and realised that it was a risky strategy, as the smell of the meat cooking would undoubtedly draw attention which is why he had made camp under a small tree with low to high branches.

So when the inevitable predators came, he could merely climb out of danger and leave them have his leftovers.

He just hoped it wasn't a leopard or lion that fancied a piece of ant-eater- as it generally was not on their preferred menu.

Just before dusk- they came in the form of a pack of hyenas.

Each daring the others to make the first move on the Major.

Their black faces and tiny ears making these savage beasts look like soft and cuddly- when in reality they could rip apart a human in minutes.

As they are descendants of dogs - there was a silent mutual admiration for human beings which goes back to primitive times when cavemen first domesticated these canines- but the initial hesitancy and stand-off only lasts for a few minutes- especially when they are hungry.

The Major beat a hasty retreat to the upper branches - not wishing to waste any of his three remaining bullets on these wild dogs.

He grabbed a chunk of aardvark flesh and climbed as high as he could onto the few branches capable of supporting his weight.

He sat still frustrated that these scavengers would eat his dinner at his expense.

It was a similar feeling to that which he held on the subject of 'Family Allowance' payments to people who didn't want to work in his home Town.

From his safe perch, the Major looked up at the horizon and saw two long necked shadows in profile of the setting orangey-red sun - which must have been giraffes- he was surprisingly enchanted by this scene- as he remembered the one he had shot - a few years back- which he mounted and stuck through his conservatory roof- just to piss off the local Planning Department.

Life was so fragile and unpredictable- he could never have imagined this situation a week ago when he sitting in front of his hearth with an open-fire dressed in his bedroom slippers, cravat and 'Hefner' dressing-gown.

He looked in the direction of Mount Kilimanjaro and it looked mystical- the summit surrounded by low cloud.

No wonder primitive people thought mountains were home of the Gods.

He was also surprised that he could hear the sound of the American Band 'Toto' playing the song 'Africa'.

Only to realise that he had left his MP3 player on.

Like an Oscar winning film of the 1980's- Major Orion Jekyll-Hyde just wanted to be 'Out of Africa' too.

He plotted his next move- as the last of the hyenas disappeared into the bush dragging the elongated nose of the dead anteater for them to chew on later.

The Major made himself as comfortable as was possible in a tree, linked his arms and legs around the branches like a sloth, tipped his hat over his eyes and nodded off to sleep.

It had been a long and eventful day.

His subconscious mind was whirring with thoughts, and proposed survival techniques that he was trying to recall from his army days.

He knew he would have to go 'native' if he was to survive this situation.

And boy did he love soft toilet tissue paper.

The Major awoke with the first rays of the sun.

He could feel something warm and sticky hitting his face.

He brushed his hand on his cheek and realised almost immediately that it was guano or bat shit to the uninitiated.

It stank to high heaven and was coming from one of the branches high above him.

It was almost like it was deliberate- that the Universe was trying to tell him something.

Or that the bat was the reincarnation of RAF trained 'Bomber' Harris.

Sonar or radar being their speciality- being used to hit a target in the dark.

The Major as he got over the shock of where he was- realised he would have to get moving soon.

It was much cooler at this time of day -as the Mid-Day sun directly overhead would cook him like a fried egg on this unforgiving Hell hole grill.

He mentally pointed himself in the direction of Kilimanjaro, set his MP3 to the minimal sound to conserve the battery, scanned the area for danger and then climbed down the trunk of the tree towards the ground.

He could hear all sorts of animals waking up- a cacophony of sound hit his ears- as he strained to identify if the noises were friend or foe- food or killer.

The scenery hadn't change much- inedible grassland and rotten trees.

There was no sign of water.

The best he could do was lick the moisture from the night off the tree leaves, before it evaporated and pray that the tree was not a poisonous variety.

He knew giraffes ate them - so logically - he hoped they would not be toxic.

His mouth was more parched than some of his diabetic patients.

He remembered why he had become a dentist in the first place.

He was a masochist not a sadist.

He enjoyed causing OTHER people pain but did not enjoy it himself.

In short- he could give it not take it.

Perhaps that is why he loved hunting so much- he loved the Power and hurt he could inflict on little animals.

Why did his ancestors bother fighting their way to the top of the food chain otherwise?

Rifle in hand, he carefully padded his way through the short grass- keeping a wary eye out for that hyena pack that had 'dogged' him last night.

Once again he yomped his way over the plains ignoring the pain from his blistered feet.

He knew that as the morning went on, the temperature would climb, and he would have to find some cover if he was to avoid heatstroke.

The climate of Central Africa was harsh at best to a pampered safari guest- but to have to revert to behaving like Victorian Explorers - Speke, Burton and Livingstone- as he 'presumed' that it must have been intolerable to have lived in such primitive times- let alone explore this mosquito-infested continent with its multitude of poisonous plants, dangerous wild animals and unfriendly natives must have been a nightmare.

The Major kept himself mentally alert by replaying in his mind- games of golf that he had played and won at the 'Rose' in Monmouth- as if nothing else if he could convince himself that the Serengeti plain was like walking a giant golf course, then he could pretend and ignore the harshness of his situation.

For every 18 miles that he walked- he felt like they were one 'hole' closer to the 19th Hole- or Club-house - that he could take that long awaited cool drink.

Suddenly, the Major made a startling discovery that would change his situation for the better.

No - it was not a 4x4 Range Rover hidden in the long grass.

It was a dead female elephant carcass, with its tusks removed.

Most normal human beings would have been reviled by the sight, but not the Major.

He being an accomplished taxidermist saw this as an opportunity.

He surmised that it had been shot quite recently by poachers for the ivory tusks.

It was covered in flies and had been pretty much stripped by all sorts of scavengers- with this once magnificent creature that was a direct descendent of the woolly mammoth, now just part of the eco-system and another meal on the Serengeti diners menu.

The Major was surprised to see that behind the remains of the fallen creature, was her dead calf too.

He had died standing up - probably from hunger or shock at the demise of his Mother.

In any event, the Major got to work quickly on the carcass with his Swiss army knife, quickly removing the remaining innards of the baby beast and placing its skin and head out to dry in the sun.

Like the flies all around him - the Major was busy 'hatching' a plan to aid his survival.

Within half an hour- he held the complete wrinkled skin of the baby elephant and like a scene from the 'Silence of the Lambs' he proceeded to wear it- trunk and all.

Like he was wearing a pantomime costume from 'Marigolds' in Brynmawr- the sunburned dentist took cover under the cool skin.

He knew that if he could find the rest of the herd- he would stand a greater chance of survival- as the elephants would lead him to water and offer great protection from the plains predators.

Like Lord Greystoke had become Tarzan before him.

Now the Major had transformed into a Jumbo.

He tried in vain to blow down the trunk of the elephant- but he was not musically trained to play the pachyderm.

The best he could do was raise a tiny squeak.

Now given the size of an African Elephant's ears, to Sir David Attenborough it would have come as no surprise that this sound would have been heard one mile away by the orphan elephant's aunt named Nelly.

She had been searching frantically for the 'orphan-ifant' and her sister for hours.

She headed in the direction of the sound before coming crashing through the savannah and light bush only to stumble on the horrific scene.

The Dentist hidden inside the 'Babar- elephant-skin raincoat' knew it was a life or death gamble, he was playing but what choice did he have?

He had to pretend he was a distraught elephant calf and walked about on all fours- raising the front paws by the aid of two tree branches.

Nelly smelt her nephew and prodded and poked him with her tongue and trunk.

She knew something wasn't right but her proboscis senses told her it smelled just like her relative.

She was distracted by the grief of seeing her fallen sister, who less than 24 hours ago was a living, but alopecia version of a Mastodon dinosaur.

She rubbed her sisters back and tried unsuccessfully to use her trunk and lift the fallen creature.

It was like trying to raise a single Blackwood mother from her DFS Sofa during an episode of Jerry Springer-it was completely hopeless.

The Major- like an inverted elephant rider-or inside mahout- all the while shuffled about like he was vulnerable- in the hope of pricking the Cow Elephant's maternal conscience.

He had never seen an elephant cry before- not even Disney's Dumbo- he assumed that they were dumb animals, with no sense of family or emotion.

These animals were starting to get under his skin- in a strange role reversal.

Eventually Nelly gave up the ghost, indicated for 'Babar' to follow her and slowly began crashing her way through the undergrowth in the direction of the herd.

Every so often she would raise her trunk in the air and give a toot for directional advice from her siblings.

When the Major finally caught up with the elephants- he was shocked to see how massive these creatures were and how gentle and affectionate they were towards each other, especially the dominant bull elephant that he christened 'Colonel Harty'

The hard hearted hunter was softening in view of his new experiences.

He knew that if any of his new travelling companions really wanted to they could crush him underfoot or break every bone in his aging body with one clout from their muscle-bound trunks.

He attached himself to the tiny tail of his newly adopted 'Aunt Nelly' and followed closely, as the herd blazed a trail through the jungle, crashing foliage, scoffing leaves and leaving 'behind' massive green 'jungle pizzas' as they went.

Relieving themselves by scratching their wrinkled arse-skin on the bark of trees.

Being at the back of the herd, the Major didn't have the best view of the World, as he stared up at the rump of Nelly, as it waddled and swayed along to the Jungle rhythm.

With all that ageing grey skin and furrowed lines, it reminded him of Helen Mirren on that L'Oreal advert under Brooklyn Bridge.

Not so much mutton dressed as lamb - more like crows- feet walking in play-doh.

The march was nearly thirty minutes long and during that time the dentist amused himself by checking the dead calf's teeth as they went.

" You need to brush those back wisdom teeth more thoroughly and those gums look a bit enflamed...I thought you elephants never forget?" said the Major tripping back onto Mr Hyde mode.

Eventually, the herd stopped at a small watering hole near Olduugi Gorge which had a beautiful waterfall cascading down from the rocks above.

It was really refreshing, as the herd used their trunks like portable shower pipes, spraying each other communally as part of a bathing ritual.

No ticks or insects stood a chance against these pressure hoses- as they were sprayed off into the water pool.

Not on your Nelly.

The Major suddenly noticed that the once sizeable herd had started to disappear.

But where were they disappearing too?

He made his way towards his adopted Aunt who was wading through the shallow water towards the waterfall and what appeared to be on close inspection a cave beyond it.

As he followed, taking a battering from the force of the water overhead, as he did so he was instantly blinded by the darkness of the cave.

As his eyes were struggling to adjust to the new light- he decided to remove the head of the dead baby elephant in order that he could squeeze through a gap to see out the other end of the cavern.

" My oh-my-....this must be the fabled Alley Barbar's cave!" he said to himself.

His voice booming around the walls with an echo.

Head under his arm, the Major walked like the Victorian ghost of John Merrick, as he made his way through the dark recesses of the Mountain.

He was shocked to see that behind the cave was an entire secret valley filled with the remains of generations of dead elephants, hiding amongst ancient African hardwood trees.

He had stumbled upon an elephant's graveyard.

All around him were white bones and yellow tusks that had lain here undiscovered for Centuries.

There was more ebony and ivory than both of Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney's keyboards.

The Major suddenly reverted to kind.

What was the street value of this little lot?

He knew he would have to get out of this elephant costume soon otherwise he felt he would be rumbled.

His plan had worked the elephants had led him to water but also inadvertently to their version of

Nel Dorado.

As he tried in vain, to get the elephant 'wet' suit off- he struggled as he had done too good a job of sowing himself in.

Try as he might, he could get out the conventional way.

He would have to find another means.

***************************************************************************

Kenyan Poachers, Ness Kaffe and D-Caff looked down at the watering hole somewhat mystified.

They knew that the African elephant was an endangered species and were disappearing fast -but not that fast.

Where had the entire herd gone?

They couldn't have ALL drowned in that little pool.

The pair weren't necessarily bad lads but they had to feed their family somehow.

They had tried to avoid the 'gang' culture by being employed by the Kenyan Coffee Company to grow the coffee beans- but it was really hard work.

D-Caff had tried a brief foray into rap music but it didn't pay as well as Ivory poaching did.

It was a return to the days of slavery - only economic slavery this time- ruled over by the white overseers and masters who gave all the orders.

Having to 'complete' with Brazilian and Columbian coffee, also meant that they didn't get a 'Fair Trade' price for breaking their backs in the hot African sun.

They were convinced that the 'white man' was the spawn of the devil.

As the baby elephant emerged from beneath the waterfall, the pair were shocked to see what appeared to show a White Man slowing emerging from the elephants arsehole.

The pair looked at each other like it was a Ju-Ju or curse and fled back towards their battered stolen Mercedes car left behind from the Top Gear African special.

The Major struggled to get out of the wet suit.

He realised that he had done TOO good a job on sewing himself into the elephant suit and the only aperture left big enough to squeeze through was the bum of the dead creature.

He wondered what any would-be witness to the scene would make of it.

However, the Major knew he was now - give or take a deviation- at least 200 miles from any civilisation - the closest being likely to be at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Now - thanks to the elephants - he had a supply of clean drinking water- all he needed to do was to find a receptacle to carry it in.

He hunted the edge of the pool, lifted some vegetation but couldn't find anything to use.

He was just about to give up and try a different tack when something caught his eye- glinting in the sun.

It was a shiny plastic water bottle containing the logo of the London Olympic Games 2012.

As he fished it out it of the water, he could see an inscription of 'Go Mo for Bo Jo' written on the side.

It had also had a mark to show it had come from the Mayor of London's Office.

How could something have travelled this far- end up in an African lake...probably Labour wasting money again on foreign junkets he assumed.

" Livingstone... I presume?" said the Major.

Whatever was the cause, he was grateful for its use.

He filled it up to the brim, sealed off the top and started in the direction of Mount Kilimanjaro.

As he left the safety of the elephant herd behind, he made a mental note of its location - should he return one day to claim the fortune in ivory- hidden in that secret valley.

The Major could see in the distance the reason why the sacred mountain was known as the 'Roof of Africa'- as its summit was shrouded in low cloud and looked like the front cover of 'The Teardrop Explodes' Album.

It was quite an impressive sight, especially as in the foreground you could see animals as far as the human eye could see, as if clinging to the shadow of this monument of nature for safety.

Stripy Zebras- like horses in black n white pyjamas, long-necked giraffes, antelopes of every description and of course- the predators who relied on these creatures to survive.

It was an eco-system with a diverse habitat that was being destroyed slowly by mankind.

The Major marvelled at the scene- and was mightily impressed at the speed of a thirsty Mo Farrah running away from a pursuing cheetah.

This land was the cradle of civilisation.

It was a shame humans had been allowed entry to the Garden of Eden - as clearly they have spoiled it.

The Major stopped dead in his tracks - as an equine creature shot across his path.

Holding a full driving licence -he was programmed by society to stop at every zebra crossing.

He was also instinctively programmed to shoot on sight too.

Whilst he aimed for its head- the bullet ended up tearing a nearby okapi a new arsehole.

It startled him, as even so called 'family animals' in the wild were potential killers too.

He was aware of the fact that the biggest 'initial' killer in Africa - after ISIS, AIDS, and HIV was in fact the hippopotamus.

They, just like crocodiles can outrun a human (Mo Farrah excepted) over a short distance, have a body weight that is the equivalent of Vanessa Feltz standing on your toes in high heeled shoes, and a powerful jaw that can snap a man in half.

The Major staggered on - as the sun blazed down on him- he now had blisters on his blisters and knew that it was only his iron will to survive that was keeping him from being the next meal on the flying vulture menu.

He was thirsty, starving and scared half to death.

Perhaps, it was karma paying the old dentist back for all of those years that -he- the 'driller killer' had caused pain and suffering to other people and defenceless animals.

But there is another saying- 'shit floats' and perhaps this was the reason that he stumbled upon a nomadic member of the Masai Mara Tribe.

It was the first time in his life that the Major looked pleased to see a fellow human being.

The tribesman known as Cowadunga was startled by the 'ghost'- as he had not seen a White Caucasian before, but had heard tales from his ancestors about the appearance of the White Man being associated with bad luck and of course slavery.

"Kanyo Iyesita Oloiborry Endira?" he asked.

Which translated to:-

" What are doing White Devil?".

Cowadunga was frightened that he was an evil spirit come to take him or his beloved cattle away.

Neither man could speak a word of each other's language.

The Major stared at the pearly white teeth of the tribesman and was impressed with his dental hygiene.

How did he keep them that clean without toothpaste or a toothbrush?

What Den-Plan was he on?

He - like all Englishmen abroad- arrogantly expected the tribesman to speak the Queens English- after all it was the language of the internet.

Cowadunga -even if he could have understood him- he wouldn't know what the internet, broadband or a toothbrush was for that matter.

He could see that the Major had a rifle over his shoulder, and he had witnessed first-hand what a bullet could do to him or his animals- so he took several steps back away from the 'Endira'.

As he did so, the Major began to follow him.

He tried to use body language - by offering him the open palm front gesture to show he meant no harm- but Cowadunga had decided he would do a 'Mo Farrah' and put as much distance between him and the 'slaver' as he could.

The Major was shocked at the speed of the tribesman.

He had never seen anything move that fast- not that is -since that time as a kid, when he stuck a red hot poker up the arse of his pet tomcat.

As Cowadunga ran, his feet disappeared in a cloud of dust like he was a modern day roadrunner bird.

The Major thought briefly about shooting him, but decided it wasn't worth wasting a precious bullet.

Instead, he just stole his lunch and headed on towards the sacred Mountain.

He was very grateful for the milky drink, cow cheese and strip of biltong that Mrs Cowadunga had packed her husband that morning.

Further on, the terrain of the ground began to change- as did the animals.

In the rocky foothills leading to Mount Kilimanjaro, the Major encountered a flange of baboons, a couple of chimpanzees and the occasional Mountain Gorilla in the descending mist.

The temperatures in the Third World began to cool to just 96 degrees in the shade.

He laboured on until he was no longer physically able to walk- looking for a safe place to bed down for the night.

Like most humans- he had an innate fear of the dark and the time just before Dawn, he found the blackest.

He looked up at the beautiful starlit sky and once again marvelled at how insignificant he was, compared to the infinite galaxy of constellations that shone down from the Heavens.

There was even a constellation named after him- not Orion the Hunter- but that of the 'Great Bear'.

Just like Jekyll-Hyde- the 'Bear' was split in two personalities:-

Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

And just like the Welshman you could not predict which one would come out at night.

The Major made himself as comfortable as he could in a tiny Acacia tree.

If only birdwatcher Billie Oddie could see him perched up on the middle branches- he really would 'twitch'- at the sight of this unusual bird.

He felt about as comfortable as Christopher Biggins would be in a thong.

But 'Safari -so Goodie' - he had thus far by some miracle the Bore with the Twelve Bore, had survived his 'Great Trek' across South Africa and reached the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.

He had a lot of climbing up massive stonewalls tomorrow ahead of him- so he knew he needed to preserve his strength and get some shut-eye.

As he hung his weapon over the tree branch, and then his gun too, he started to drift off.

Every so often his leg would involuntarily spasm in a hypnic jerk, as his daytime motor control of his muscles failed to switch off.

It was a residual reaction left over from mankind's primitive arboreal past to prevent him toppling out of his perch.

The time when the first African man lived in trees- just like the modern-day 'Blackwood' Dentist.

When the Major awoke at first light- he had found that his toes and fingers had instinctively curled around the branches of the acacia- with his nob acting as an anchor too.

As he rubbed the 'eye snot' from his sleepy eyes, he blinked at the new Dawn.

He left off an almighty fart- that startled the Serengeti and sent a herd of rhinoceroses into a crash.

He stretched up with his arms and yawned loudly.

He rubbed a couple of pesky ants off his neck.

He then proceeded mentally to choose the easiest pathway up the ancient grey rocks - selecting to begin his assent up a narrow ravine.

He knew that one like a sewage worker during a 69 session - one slip and he would be in the shit.

But he had precious little option.

He would climb the rocks and then discharge his gun into the air to see if he could attract attention.

He would then wave his arms around and make a stone SOS signal on the ground, in the hope someone could spot it from the air.

As he reached the narrow cleft in the rocks- he proceeded to climb it with his back pressed firmly against the other side.

He knew a few days ago, the fuller figured dentist would not have fitted the aperture, but the newly malnourished African version would.

Ursa Major was evolving into Ursa Minor.

The Big Hunter had lost so much weight- he was now the Big Hunt.

Most of his disgruntled ex-patients had called him a version of that too.

The Major knew that he simply HAD to hold out for the 70 foot 'chimney-sweep-style' climb.

The 'Great Bear' Grylls had to grow a pair, if he wanted to live to see his phoney pals at the Golf Club again and 'brag' about his latest ordeal.

He remembered his climbing technique training from the Army and of course actor Gregory Peck in 'The Guns of Navarone'.

Each foothold and handhold was important.

You didn't release one until the other three were firmly planted in position.

Like a caterpillar version of Chris Bonnington, the gravity-defying inch-worm hunchback, crawled his way up the steep sided rock- carefully selecting his holds as he went.

In that heat, human sweat could be deadly and act as an unwanted finger lubricant.

With his rounded back touching the opposite wall of the narrow crevasse, he climbed up unaided thrown the narrowest point of the gap between the rocks.

His hunchback was hurting him and he also had a lot of cramp in his leg muscles- as his 'Charlie' and his 'Charley Horse' both slowed his progress.

His rifle too slung over his back was another impediment, as it swung violently, as he tried to fight the natural elements.

Once he had passed the point of no return, the Major had a plan to place his hands and feet on opposite sides of the chasm and power himself up the rocks like a star-jumping frog, using his entire body strength and speed to rise to the top of the 'chimney'.

It was a gamble but he had no other option.

He knew it was all or nothing.

He let go of the rock and tried to 'starfish' his way up to safety.

He hoped that once there he could build his distress boulder message in the hope of being rescued.

After all the Mountain had achieved charitable status itself, with everyone from Irish Models in red stiletto heels, to Welsh Rugby Captains and even Lord Geldof of Live Aid Fame raising money by climbing its peak.

As he made it to the top of the opening, the Major was expecting to see hordes of people, walking passed in fancy dress- Bugs Bunny costumes, blue feathered ostriches or Superman outfits- but there was no one around.

He was sweating and straining, preparing himself mentally for the final grab from his X wing position, when out from a small bush came a voice.

" Allo Der" said the African Man.

As he smiled he revealed perfectly white teeth to the sun and dazzled the Major in the process.

Blinded by the Sun God Amun Ra - the Major instinctively raised his right arm to protect his eyes from the glare of the reflected sun.

This move proved fatal, as he then fell face first back down the rock-face- much quicker than he had climbed it.

As he fell he once again wondered who was doing the veneers around here.

He landed with great force face up in the gap in the rocks wedged tighter than a pair of Cyril Smith's underpants.

The African stood on the edge of the vertical drop and shouted down to the Major.

" U' allright down der Man?"

" Not really!" replied the Major.

" Who the Devil are you anyway?"

The African tossed him down a business card which he caught in his open hands.

He read the card aloud.

" Idi Amin Junior- Last Prince of Scotland Tours of Kilimanjaro- Proprietor."

" You gander?" asked the African.

" Yes...but what are you doing in Tanzania?" replied the trapped dentist- ironically performing his last ever filling.

The poor man was trapped with his head facing up - as was his rifle - both pointing skyward like a Grenadier guard on parade.

The Major knew that he was hundreds of miles away from the nearest hospital and the chance of any form of rescue was out of the question.

This cleft in the rocks would be his final resting place on Earth.

And the responsibility for this had to fall squarely on the shoulders of the exiled Dictators Son.

" Sorry about that... but my family has a habit of making people disappear!" said the African peering over the edge tentatively.

" When I heard it was Kilimanjaro ....I didn't realise I had to take the first part LITERALLY!" said the Major.

He tempted the African out of cover by deliberately speaking quietly.

" What did you say Bwana?" asked Idi.

" Is there anybody else up there with sense that could get me out of my predicament?"

" No....nobody on Der Mountain till (he looked at his booking schedule) October...one Month from now!"

At that point the taxidermist knew he was stuffed.

It was now or never if he was to tick his last box on his Bucket List.

The Major fired off his shot which went straight up in the air, just missing the African's ear as it went.

" You nearly shot me then!" he screamed back down the abyss as the bullet sailed on and on up into the air.

The Major was disappointed that he had missed his quarry despite the fact he himself had not missed his.

" One bullet left!" he cursed.

He didn't want to die slowly of dehydration of starvation.

He would save that for emergency.

But there is a saying what goes up must come down, and this equally applies to bullets.

Whilst the bullet had missed it's target on first flight- it didn't miss poor Idi on the way back - as it struck him on the back of the ostrich feathered headdress on the way back down.

He teetered on the edge for a split second then plummeted lifelessly down the chasm towards the trapped climber.

He landed with a thump which knocked the Major free but sent him to a crumpled heap on the floor.

All broken and twisted he lay unconscious and oblivious to pain- a bit like it his old patients were under the old dentists black mask of gas.

But then he came around and realised that he had more broken bones than Motorcyclist Barry Sheen.

He was in excruciating pain- like a combination of all the root canal fillings he had ever given in his life.

Like Karma balancing out all the suffering he had caused during his dental career- which secretly he had enjoyed administering.

He decided that the only way forward was to put the rifle under his chin and shoot himself.

He pointed the rifle up and after a few seconds of deliberation and silent prayer- he squeezed the trigger.

The dodgy sight and bent barrel meant it missed the dentist- only taking off the tip of his nose before hitting an innocent monkey in a tree near the rocks- sending him plummeting to his death.

"Major Mistake!" he said as he collapsed in agony- knowing that he was food for the African vultures flying close-by.

" Orion- you really are a Big Hunt!".

comments powered by Disqus