Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)
TITLE: Journey From Africa
By Judy Meyers
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“Why did we have to leave in the middle of the night?” she asked Wapnu. “I don’t understand why we are in such a hurry.”
“The traveling will take us many days and we needed to get started as early as possible,” he told her.
Wapnu didn’t have a map. He had to travel by instinct. He took great care in following the directions of the elements that God had given to guide him. He knew the journey would be long and exhausting. He would have to stop along the way, many times, to rest and eat. After all, he was a very large hippopotamus. He and his partner, Fenel were making their trek from Africa to a new land. For whatever reason, he knew that this trip was very important!
He began to feel weary. “Oh, for a river of cool water,” he thought. His mind wandered. He looked back at Fenel. She needed to rest too. With or without a river, they needed to stop and catch their breath. What on earth could make them want to travel such a distance? He didn’t know. He followed his instincts and knew he had to forfeit the pleasures of his homeland, muddy rivers and lazy days, to make this journey.
Creta and Japa had been traveling the same road for several days when they met up with Wapnu and Fenel. “Where are you going?” Creta asked Wapnu. “You look as if you have traveled for many days.”
“Oh, we have,” Wapnu replied. “Fenel and I left our homeland over three months ago and we are very weary. Where have you lived?” Wapnu asked his new friend.
“Japa and I have lived in central Africa. We have been traveling for almost six weeks. It has been a strange journey. But, we feel it is very important for us to travel. We are not sure where we are going but we know we must find the new land.”
Fenel looked at Japa. Fenel felt a little embarrassed because she was so plump and rotund. Japa was tall and slender. Her neck was very long and she held herself tall and straight. Fenel would love to have Japa’s figure. But, she had learned a long time ago that there was a reason why she was built the way she was. At that moment, she couldn’t recall what the reason was. Fenel was a heavy hippo and she would just have to be comfortable with that and appreciate Japa for the way she was created, as a giraffe.
Jappa put her head low to look into Fenel’s eyes. “You look very tired,” she said in a soothing voice. “Is there anything I can do for you? Could I get you some leaves to eat?”
“Oh,” Fenel responded, “You are so sweet. I ate grass all night and I’m really doing well. Do you know where you are going?”
Japa looked at her with her huge brown eyes. “No, we just keep going north to the new land,” she said. “Creta keeps telling me that we will be there soon. But, every day seems longer. I just wish I knew what the urgency was all about.”
“Me too,” Fenel confided. “Wapnu woke up one morning and told me that we would be making a long journey and that I should prepare myself to travel. He keeps telling me that we are going to live in a new land. Where on earth is the new land?”
Wapnu, Fenel, Creta, and Japa kept making their trek across Africa until they reached Egypt and crossed into the new land. As they approached the ark, they noticed animals of every breed. Pairs of lions, tigers, birds of every variety, reptiles, zebras, and other creatures, male and female, were gathering together. All were awaiting final instructions to get on board this huge boat. Where normally there would be chaos and fighting, the animals were completely at peace. They were headed for a new land.
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