Tuesday sat in the sun at the edge of the veld and watched as his father and his men stormed past him toward the house
They were angry, Tuesday could tell. His fathers face was shadowed with rage and he walked fast and determined, and was so focused he had not seen little Tuesday.
Tuesday was not meant to be this far away from the house and he knew if his father had seen him he would be reminded in the most frightening of tones, with stories of being eaten by lions or trampled by elephants.
Tuesday jumped down from the tree stump where he’d been sitting for an hour just watching the birds and small animals in the veld.
Sweat glistened on his black skin as he ran to catch up with his father. To get just close enough that he could follow them and not be seen.
The men strode quickly through the house to the back room , interrupting Patience as she prepared Tomato Bredie to have for dinner.
‘Not again’ she thought as she put out the flame beneath the pot. Cooking would have to wait.
She took off her apron and walked toward the door catching Tuesday with one hand as he scampered in looking for his father.
‘And where have you been my baby boy?’ asked Patience ‘Near the veld again? Your father won’t be pleased.
Tuesday allowed his mother to scoop him up into a hug and carry him outside where she made herself comfortable on an old weathered wooden seat, letting Tuesday to fall gently onto her lap.
‘Why is father always so angry mama?’, Tuesday asked as he shuffled to make himself more comfortable and snuggled his six-year-old self into the curve of his mother.
‘Your father is sad about the Rhino’. Patience answered.
‘He wants to help them and sometimes his help is not enough’.
Patience glanced through the doorway of the house making up her mind it would be a long afternoon of planning.
She let out a deep sigh as she wrapped her hands around Tuesday and began to tell him a story.
‘Well Tuesday, it began long, long before the rhino, when the earth was still very, very young and Africa was at the centre of the world.
God had created the most beautiful collection of animals who all lived and existed in balance, following the rules of life, the rules of mother nature and of mother earth.
There were no Rhinos then
Instead there was the most magical, beautiful and special animal of all. Some of them were black, some were grey and some were white, just like the Rhino.
And they too had a horn. A long spiraling, beautiful horn. Much more majestic and special looking than that of the Rhino.
It was God’s blessed creature, free and wild and stunning.
Men were so captivated by it that many worshiped it.
Others loved watching it. Just seeing it would bring them love and joy and would heal wounds of bitterness and darkness.
But within mankind there always seems to be a few people who want to capture and destroy what they do not understand.
They believe that the magic of life is inside and only present in something else, like the unicorn, and if they take it inside of themselves they too will be as magical and magnificent as the animal they have destroyed.
They fail to understand that beauty and magic and true power come from within, from the heart and soul of each individual and not from anyone or anything outside of themselves.
The Unicorns were dying. They were being captured and destroyed in great numbers and God looked down with deep sadness at what he saw.
He did not want to lose these magnificent creatures from the earth. So he came up with a plan.
So beneath the magic of a star laden sky God breathed a special prayer as warm and gentle as a breeze on a summer’s day and all of the unicorns disappeared from the earth. So it seemed.
In their place were new and mysterious creatures. Larger, rounder and more wrinkled, with a more unattractive horn, that wasn’t mystical at all.
These creatures flourished and spread across the land and were known as the Rhinoceros.’
Tuesday sighed in delight and wriggled to see his mothers face as she continued with the story.
‘God was happy.
He believed his plan had worked.
He had saved the creatures he so loved.
But men were travelling and exploring and became fascinated with the Rhinoceros and it’s horn.
They began to believe that if they had the horn they could gain the power and strength of this mighty animal.
A great killing began. Men with no thought or concern for these amazing creatures and the pain they were inflicting, began to slaughter them in horrible ways.
Often they would remove the horn and leave the Rhino to die.
And so it continues today, while God works on his next plan to protect these wonderful animals from the hands of murderous men.
And your father has joined God’s forces to protect the Rhino. And yet some days he feels he is not enough when he finds more have died and he has been unable to prevent it.
There are so few Rhino left in Africa that God may have waited too long to step in. Yet we must still hope.
And so your father will continue to do his part to save these beautiful Rhino for as long as he can.
Some days he and his men will have moments of despair at the futility and madness of it all.
If the men who want the Rhino horn were to wake up and realise their own compassion for the Rhino, the animals and all of the creatures of the planet, then they will have found the very thing they are looking for in the Rhino horn.
Never forget my baby boy, that joy, love, passion for life, come from within you.
Nothing outside of you can give you the magic you are seeking on life’s journey.
All animals have their place, all plants and insects have their place in God’s divine plan.
Just as you are as important to the world as the rain that falls in summertime, everything has its place.’
Patience closed her eyes and allowed the heat of the afternoon to dance on her attractive face.
Tuesday listened to the beat of her heart, smelled the familiar scent, felt her love and felt safe and at one with the earth that sighed in the heat, while the birds sang around them and the few remaining Rhino basked unaware in the afternoon sun.
For a true Rhino story visit this blog to read the tale of an orphaned Rhino and his progress