I have received my orders to look after the Training programmes for a new batch of trainees and I had to stay in Khartoum for another 4 weeks and I was gone again for my vacation… along went all the thoughts of those cheetahs.
I returned to my field location only in November, that is, last month.
Again I was busy with the new trainees and another batch of existing trainees.
I saw that my official mail box is almost full and I had no time to empty the stuff for the next two weeks. But when the mail box started giving alert warning about no more mails, I decided to sit and sort out the mail and delete some of them or to send it to public achieve.
It was a hell of a job as I have no time to check the contents of the letter except the senders name to guess if it was important. I was half way doing the deleting when I saw an unfamiliar name Jon Kingly.
I don’t know any Jon kingly, so I was about to send it to the bin when it suddenly occurred to me that the name of the care taker of the unity garden and recreation facilities. I checked the sender location.
Bam!!! The mail was from unity
I stopped my cursor before I clicked delete. He had no special relation with me warranting a mail to me. I checked the date and found that it is 16 days old and I also saw another mail too from him, which was 10 days old .So I clicked open the second mail:
I am not sure if you will receive this mail as this is second mail that I am sending you
I tried to phone you many times and it kept on ringing. I knew that you were in Khartoum for some time and came to know that you will be in the field soon.
Please contact ASAP
I checked his official telephone number from the company directory. Now it was my turn to wait for his mercy.
Again I tried and no one picked the receiver
I got him on the phone finally in the evening.
I was busy to the neck, so I was crisp.
“Jon ! what is this ASAP ?”
“Hi jac, you becoming crazy with work ?”
“Yes Jon, sort of busy. Tell me if I can be of any help to you”
He started laughing first, then stopped to tell me
“I want to show you something jac.”
“Can u tell me what it is?”
“No” He cut the phone.
I was angry. I am angry when some one closes the phone with out a bye. I was restless and I had no time to play games with him, so I called him again
“Jon, come on, man ! You can tell me what it is ? “
“No” his curt answer.
“Is it very important …can you hold it for two days “
“For me it is not very important but for you…as far I know, is more important than your dear life” he was slow in answering but he was chuckling.
I was perplexed and prayed to God to give me strength not to get angry with the old man.
Well, instead of getting angry. I was relieved as he cut the phone again
I called Ali, my favorite driver and gave my key for the Toyota pick up, for checking it up so that I can leave early morning itself.
I was restless through out the evening, not knowing what it could be that he wants to show me. I didn’t sleep well.
I was ready only at 9 AM, after the morning meeting and roaster duties, sending drivers on different training locations with the trainees. I checked my bag for the usual things, by driving license, camera and two large bottles of water that I always carry for the shepherd boys.
The sun was already up and hot when I started. I tried to focus my attention on driving on the treacherous road, rather than on Jon.
It took me one and half hours of steady driving through the partly wooded road, stopping twice for taking pictures of white storks with scissor shaped beaks, locally called as 'lak-lak’ due to the ‘lak-lak’ sound it makes with their beaks while swimming in the pools
I went direct to the estate office where Jon has his office.
He was talking with some one on the phone when I knocked and entered. He dropped the phone and got up to greet me with a hearty smile. He seemed to ignore my annoyed face and shook hands beaming from ear to ear.
“Do you plan to leave immediately jac ?” His smile started to irritate me.
I controlled my anger with a long breath, counted seven and exhaled, now I smiled at Jon and found those twinkles of excitement in his eyes.
“Jac ! I know that you are trying to control your anger at me. I am going to show you something that will make you smile.” I was not impressed.
He took my hand and we exited through the back door of his office which is shortcut to the park. My shoulder was paining with weight of the bag and its contents.
Suddenly the thought stuck me !!
He knows my love to animals and birds; his smile was still wide and mischievous.
He must have some thing there in the park or in the cage… he must have got something in my absence.
A wounded antelope ??
An injured monkey ?
Nearer to the cage in the park, my nose sensed it...there was slight stench of a zoo.
But I never expected this.
I was spellbound ! !
I was overwhelmed with joy ! !
I could see Jon laughing with his eyes !!
Two cute babies who screeched when ever I came near the cage.
The Mama looked only once at me and then totally ignored me.
I took John’s hand and looked at his eyes. He was laughing all over.
“Jac, you happy now ?” he was about to dance with me, African style.
I just stood looking at them with awe.
Seeing my questioning eyes, Jon lead me to the cement chairs in the shade and explained.
“Its is the same one, jac” he said
I was astonished and I started looking in the cage again for the male.
“He is not there, buddy. He decided to stay out but he is around”
And he continued the rest of the tale.
Almost two months after the escape, they lost hope of their return. So the cage was cleaned and the topsoil was replaced and it was abandoned for good but no one cared to lock it.
Just after a series of rains, one fine morning, the gardener who opens the gate of the park saw a moment in the cage and looked.
The female cheetah was peacefully sleeping inside the cage and the male cheetah was lazing out side the cage.
When the he saw the gardener, he got up slowly, looked once at the sleeping one and walked off to the woods beyond.
She was pregnent with a large abdomen now and was nearer to deliver.
On the fifth day morning the they were born.
Two cuties, a male and a female.
He comes once in while at dusk and watch from far but never intends to come near the cage.
The cage now is never locked.
Every one knows that when the kitties are ready, all three will join him in the woods beyond.
Now tell me if they have brains ????
Currently playing:- HEVIA with his earthy music.