you know, for kids...
Mon 30 Apr 2012 35 °C
One morning the toast monster decided he wanted to go on a hunt. He was going to shoot some animals with his camera.
He packed an overnight bag, and the camera, and Maya wolf, and got into the Monster.
The Monster took them out of the city on the rolling hills, into tall mountains green with grass and yellow with dried maize. They were a lot of people around, but no animals, so they carried on.
They were going up and down and curving around the mountains quite a lot when suddenly the view opened up and they were at the top of a long, wide valley. They couldn’t see where it started or ended (that was because it started many many miles away, on a whole different continent!) but they could see in the distance across some more high mountains.
The valley was lush and green and yellow with some blue swamps. Some bits had maize and mango and avocado trees, but some bits were wild bush which looked perfect for wild animals.
They went down the mountains into the valley, which was very hot after the cool mountain air. They stopped to say hello to the police officers in their tent by the road, who told them there are animals to be found just down the road! The toast monster became very excited.
They rode on and on, the road changing from asphalt to gravel to dirt, until they reached a big gate. It had a sign on that read: Majete Wildlife Reserve.
And there they were, the first animals to hunt: two warthogs politely crossing the road! The toast monster got so excited he forgot to shoot them with his camera.
Most of the animals were having their nap as it was quite hot and sticky. The toast monster and Maya wolf were tired from the long drive so they had a bit of a rest as well in their tent. The tent was very big, it had space for a proper bed and a table, but not enough room for a bathroom. That was outside, with only one wall and no roof.
In the afternoon the toast monster and Maya wolf met Moyo and Nathan who took them out on a drive.
The animals must have heard that guests were arriving because a mother elephant and her two cubs came to say hello. This time the toast monster remembered to shoot them:
A lot of other animals were now awake, grazing and playing. The Waterbuck has beautiful horns and a white circle around his bottom. That way his friends can all recognise and follow each other when they run around.
Moyo was very good at spotting the animals in the bushes. The shy Nyalas were difficult to spot; they were always hiding because they were embarrassed about the paint dripping down their sides.
There were a lot of impalas playing together, running and jumping and hitting each other’s horns while their mothers watched by and gossiped. They looked like they were having a great time.
A bit further away the toast monster saw familiar colours: black and white among all that green. He couldn’t believe his eyes – are there other Newcastle supporters here?! It turned out they were Zebras. They were very friendly, staying for a quick chat before running away.
Next stop was the Shire river, running down from big Lake Malawi in the north all the way to the mighty Zambezi river down in Mozambique. The hippos were having a bath, diving under once in a while. It was quite difficult to know if you were looking at a rock or at a hippo then!
Later on, after the toast monster and Maya wolf returned to their tent and were getting ready for bed, they heard noises in the bushes outside their only bathroom wall. It was getting dark and difficult to see, but when they got nearer they saw the elephants were just there, on the other side of the wall, saying good night.
The next day they woke up early and went for a walk with Amado. Amado was a tracker. He could tell which animal passed on the track by identifying its poo. The toast monster was very impressed. The elephants’ poo is quite big and has whole Amarula fruits in it which its stomach can’t digest properly. Amado could also spot footprints on the track. He saw some zebras’ footprints, which were hoofed like horses’. He also saw some cheetah’s footprints! They were out at night, looking for food.
Tracking along, they almost bumped into a big elephant who was shaking an Amarula tree. He was making the fruit drop so he could pick them up with his trunk and stuff his face. A little later they ran into the zebras again, who were playing with a couple of impalas.
Walking back to the tent the toast monster spotted a very big spider web. With an enormous spider on it – it was as big as the toast monster’s palm! It was a lady spider called Mrs Golden Web. She had a black and white front and when she turned in the sun her belly was shiny and golden. Her husband, small and red, was sitting under a leaf.
The toast monster was having a great time. He was thinking about Ben, Leo and Charlie and wishing they were there with him. But now it was time to go home, and the toast monster, Maya wolf and the Monster rode back across the wide valley and up into the mountains and down onto the city in the rolling hills, and into bed.