A journey to paradise


 by Valerie Ordonez


The day had just begun as I glazed upon the hot steaming Savannah.

Due to lack of water supply, the other animals migrated towards the north side of the land with hopes of finding at least one drop of water near the area. 


Thankfully my 12 ft. colon had given me the advantage of retaining fluids for up to 5 days. The absorption of fluids in my  colon wouldn’t have been enough to keep me alive


but it was a great source of hydration until I found my new paradise.


However, during the three months in which the Oxpecker kept me company near the Goukou Lake, he mentioned the great wonders of Northern Africa. 


As I’d never stepped foot near those terrains, I felt unsure about my migration to the north 


He spoke about the quenching water, the huge ecology and the refreshing climate… but most importantly the land! Oh did the oxpecker spoke in great detail about the acres of grass available to eat!


I could only imagine my squared lips designed for grazing, grasping on to the Bermuda grass as my cecum broke down the cellulose molecules through hindgut fermentation. With all its resources, the oxpecker couldn’t have been lying!


It was marvelous;

I would be a fool if I didn’t go!


just the blazing sun hitting my thick, yet delicate skin. 



 As I began my journey, I came to the conclusion that I was on my own.



 Not a sight, or a sound...



I felt the need for a bath on my way to the north. Luckily, I stumbled upon a pool of mud, a couple of miles away from home. The humidity would soothe my burnt skin while also protecting it from the terrible UV rays. “Wonderful for my skin!”  I thought. 


 As I relaxed in the pool of mud, I noticed something hiding behind the shrubs. It was a familiar figure, something seen before. 


It appeared to be tall and slender with long arms and no hair except for the top of his head and face. It was crouching on its feet while holding on to a giant piece of metal, pointing straight at me. As I stared at the rather interesting figure,  I heard the oxpecker shout “RUN RHINO! RUN! It’s a hunter!

Without a doubt in my mind, I began to run as fast as I could. Then suddenly I heard the first shot. 

The fear rushed through my veins as fast as wildfire.


As I ran out of power to move away from the menace, the hunter approached me in his vehicle,ready to shoot.


With only one option to protect myself , I launched my horn as hard as I could towards the vehicle. 


Although my horn is made up of multiple fibers of keratin, which are similar to hair and nails, the calcium inside its core allows for great strength and resistance, protecting it from the impact as my horn stuck to the metal beast.


As I pushed the vehicle away, I ran until I saw no danger.


Finally free, I found a patch of Bermuda grass near a river flooded with water. I began to grasp for grass, while noticing the other animals drinking and resting, including the oxpecker that had saved my life. 


As I enjoyed the view, the oxpecker looked my way tipping his head and at that moment I could have sworn I heard on the breeze a whisper “Welcome to freedom my fellow friend, you earned it”

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