Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CHECKING IN OR OUT (hotel/motel on vacation) (08/27/15)
- TITLE: Wonky Tusks and the Hotel Guests
By Marty Wellington
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
South Luangwa National Park
Despite the drumming of a light spring rain, I began to hear soft murmurs ripple through the small group of guests gathered in the lounge area of Mfuwe Lodge. Anticipation was building.
“I think they are coming.”
“Gosh, I can hardly wait.”
“I wonder if it will stop raining soon.”
My 12-year-old daughter didn't seem to notice the comments. As usual, she was engrossed in her latest fantasy novel, enraptured by some mythical dragons.
My husband,Tim, and I exchanged nervous glances. My heart raced. When would the surprise visitors finally arrive? For months we had struggled to keep this huge secret from our daughter, hoping she wouldn't venture onto the Internet too much to discover Mfuwe Lodge's most coveted guests. Fortunately, for us, she loved her books.
Suddenly, things began to happen.
My husband reached over and tapped me on the shoulder, pointing to one of the staff who was silently signaling for quiet. We knew the lodge management sent certain staff out each day during this time of the year to scout the area around the lodge for the special guests.
I glanced across the wide veranda and through the pouring rain to the back of the lodge. Bright yellow fruit dotted the landscape of mud and puddles collecting in the courtyard. Oh, how I wished the rain would let up, at least for a while.
Some of the other guests began to get up and move closer to the reception area. My daughter, Miranda, remained oblivious. Soon, I knew we would have to make a move to engage her.
A server, Temwani, came over to our table to let us know it was time. A wide grin flashed across his face, “They come.”
“Miranda, Dad and I have something to show you.”
“Oh, Mom. I just want to finish this page. Okay?”
“No, Miranda. Put the book down. This is important.” Hearing the sternness in my voice, she finally looked up.
“I promise you're going to love this. Come on.”
Tim guided Miranda toward the reception area, so she could see better and I followed. We arrived just in time to catch the first glimpse of a huge elephant gracefully ascending the stairs of the lodge's entrance. I noticed her off-kilter tusks, one growing backwards and one grown outward. It was “Wonky Tusks,” the matriarch of the herd. Tim and I had read all about the wonders of this herd that, for ten years, had traversed the lodge's lobby each Spring to seek out their favorite mango tree in the lodge's courtyard beyond. It seemed that, unbeknownst to the lodge owners, the lobby was built upon an ancient elephant track, and elephant traditions cannot be broken. Elephants do remember.
I looked down at Miranda, standing in front of my husband. Wide-eyed bewilderment was painted across her young face.
All the guests watched in reverent silence as the parade of elephants moved before us. There with several juveniles and even a bull elephant named George, who we would later discover, was just a gentle giant. One curious fellow stopped at the reception desk. Extending his trunk over the desk and swaying back and forth, his trunk explored the open shelves beyond, as if seeking his room key.
Tim chuckled softly and leaned over to Miranda. “You think he's checking in?”
Miranda's eyes lit up and she laughed. “Maybe.”
Indeed, all the elephants were regular guests at the lodge, checking in for their annual visit every November in order to gorge themselves on delicious, ripe mangoes for several weeks.
Then, we noticed another smaller visitor had poked his head into the gift shop. And, more laughter ensued. He quickly moved on, though, not finding the dining room.
Soon, the parade ended and we turned our attention to the courtyard where the elephants were gathered under their favorite tree, sloshing about in the mud, seeking their favorite dining spot and vying for the ripest of delicacies. A gentle rain splattered their wrinkled hides, offering a bit of relief to the heat.
“Gosh, Mom. This is great! I can hardly wait to tell my friends about this.”
Tim and I exchanged a wink, a smile and a hug, gratified that we had surprised our daughter and managed to share guest lodgings for a short time with one of the most majestic creatures God has ever created.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.