Something unusual happened that evening, Omweri the she goat was not known for delaying up to late evening before leading other goats home especially when she had young twin kids, who would be left at home to stay safe from the cruel unrelenting sun. After hours of waiting other goats came home in different groups but Omweri the leader was not among the goats, the frightening look on their faces suggested that something strange must have happened, but it was too late to launch a search for the missing ones.

The following day Kantai and his father went out to look for the missing goats in vain, the father had given up the search returning home earlier than Kantai with his conclusion that the goats were attacked by some predators and Omweri was among the unfortunate ones who did not escape the wrath of the fatal attack.

Kantai’s heart could not admit this crystal fact and for days he could wake up early before sun rise and be back in the late night after sun set. He was dearly missing his goat with a difference, all he could do after his long day unsuccessful search was to sit in a secluded place and sob for hours throughout the night, he could hardly believe that he will never see and feed Omweri again with all the staff he eats, this goat had a different feeding habit he could eat everything Kantai would eat.

For weeks he didn’t accept his goat’s permanent disappearance and if he had to, he wanted even to see where the predator might have killed and devoured the she goat that gave him two glasses of milk every morning after satisfactorily suckling her twin kids, Omweri was productive in every way everyday.

The lust of setting his eyes again on this goat before his final conclusion that Omweri was no more took young Kantai into the jungle of Lions, leopards,cheaters,hyenas,elephants and many wild animals that sees man as great enemy this made him encounter cruel adventures that took him through the right of passage of being a man without rituals and ceremonies, he said, “everybody fears danger but in the coarse of protecting what you love to live for is what forces one to take the greatest risk of even embracing shoulders with death, i could do anything to find my goat.”

For weeks Kantai was in this wild jungle camouflaging and watching his movements so keenly to avoid conflicts with these animals especially the wild cats, he only survived on wild fruits and water, he spent his sleepless nights on high branches of trees above the ground in chilling weather with mournful sounds of animals and birds which inflict fear even to brave warriors, some sounds were final cry of deadly attacks, some were filled with celebratory mood of the night some shouted for lost fellows to spot their whereabouts. He was already giving up the search when he saw how hyena devoured the remains of Buffalo killed by Lions even the hooves and the horns were great staff for these environmental cleaners “what a bout just a mere goat of soft bones”, this assured him that remains of Omweri will not be revealed any more.

The jungle was becoming home and interest of studying the habits of these animals was gradually ushering in, he could differentiate them from their sounds, wastes and foot prints, he could tell the ones that are pain, anger, or hunger. Kantai learned most of the things about wild life and was able to track even the cunning ones like leopard because he learnt their best meals and when they set out for hunt.

He was left with a scar on his forehead and chest when Cheetah’s cubs came close to him and tried holding them thinking that they were lost kitten, only their mother to appear few minutes later holding hare by the throat in its mouth. The furious mother charged at him upon seeing cubs held at hands, he dropped them down in surprise with the cubs giving injury cry in response, the animal still dared to move closer and pounced on him, he removed his sharp sword from its leather cover tied round his waist after struggle, this was the only light trusted weapon he had in cruel adventures of the jungle.

the pain of scratch from this cat’s paws was destroying in attempt to defend his solitary life in the juggle, he pierced cheetah on the delicate part catching up with its inner vital organs like lungs and heart which could not give her chance to live a gain, he saw the poor mother of young cubs falling apart and groaning in pain with frantic effort to glance at her helpless cubs, Kantai sobbed not for his pain but for the dying cheetah, he didn’t like what he did, while he was in a special mission to look for Omweri his missing goat not to kill anything in return.

The killing of Cheetah changed his life style, Kantai started hunting in favor of young cubs, he could light fire and sit a round it with the cubs and feed them on roasted meet. He left the young Cheetahs when they could hunt for themselves. He could then sleep comfortably with fire close to him, he woke up early to study browsers and gazers every morning and knew all a bout the wild life he follow them from their fresh droppings and their urine on the leaves.

His experiences during his failed mission of searching the missing goat, made him to be the best tour guide, who knows where and when to spot which animal and at what time in Samburu National Park.

Source of the text where it first appeared by Nickson Ogilo
Adventures of a Samburu boy

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