The African Tale

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Set in the empty plains of Africa, a male lion finds his childhood friend, an elephant who lost his memory and together they must face natural disasters in order to reach a valley as their new home.

The African Tale

By Travis Archer

 

It was a hot summer afternoon in the driest part of the African plains near Mt. Kilimanjaro. The plants were dying, the grass grew very little, the sun was shining, and the sky was bright orange. The entire savanna was deserted. Not a reptile, bird, or mammal of any species was in sight. But then there were two. 

 

An adult male lion named Leo was looking for a new place to live and was starting to get thirsty. He continued to stroll through the grasslands and stopped to take a drink from the lake. The lion bends his head over the water and licks it with his tongue.

 

He heard a deep thump that got his attention and lifted his head. He saw something big and grey behind the acacia trees in front of him. As Leo’s curiosity started to get the best of him, he jumped on the rocks that were sitting on the river and landed on the grass. The lion lumbered through the grass and slid through the acacia trees. In astonishment, Leo then spotted an adult male elephant breaking a tree branch as he was eating the leaves from it. Leo ran towards the elephant and said, “Uh, Excuse me. Hey, excuse me”. 

 

The gentle giant turned his head around and gasped with surprise. “Hey, where is everybody?” the lion asked as he approached the elephant. 

 

“I’m not particularly sure”, said the elephant in his baritone voice, “But all the other animals must have left a few days ago and I did hear one of them saying that they’re going to a valley”.

 

“A valley? Where?” 

 

“Somewhere far away from here I guess.” 

 

“You look so familiar to me. Do I know-,” he gasped with excitement. “Elmer!! My childhood friend!”

 

 “Oh. Well if that’s my name then I might as well take it. And you are?”

 

 Leo began to look confused with his eyebrows meeting at the top of his head. “E-Elmer, its me, Leo, don’t you remember, even a little?”

 

 “I’m sorry Leo, if that is your name, but I couldn’t recall anything,” said Elmer with his trunk rubbing the left side of his head. “All I remembered was that I was running with a herd of elephants and then I accidently slid down a cliff of some kind and some bolder or rock hit me hard on the head as I fell. And after all the other animals left, I couldn’t remember anything else”. 

 

 “Well my name is Leo and your name is Elmer, got it?”Leo said firmly and assertively.

 

“Got it! I guess. Oh, and nice to meet you by the way” said Elmer as he shook Leo’s paw with his trunk. 

 

“Ok,” said Leo, “Now, which way do we…” The ground started to shake and began to split apart. The landside split the two animals, separating them. Leo began to jump on the other side of the divide where Elmer was. Then the landslide began to grow up to 1 story high as they both jump on the other landslide on their right. The ground became unbalanced as their area started to split apart even further. “We’ve got to get out of here,” said Leo as he became frantic. 

 

“Through there!” exclaimed Elmer, pointing his trunk to a cave in the distance.

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“I think so.” They both started to jump up and down landing on one landslide after another. 

 

“I hope you know where you’re going with this”

 

 As he tried to catch up with Elmer, Leo landed on the edge of the landslide with his claws attached to it. He struggled to reach the topside as he was sweating and the lava pit was at least 5 stories below him. At that moment, Elmer quickly stopped and turned around to where Leo was. “Grab on, buddy,” said Elmer as he stretched his trunk to reach Leo’s paw. And then, just when he was about to slip and fall, Leo grabbed the end part of Elmer’s trunk and was pulled up into the surface of the landslide. “I think its best to give you a ride,” Elmer said as he kneeled on his front knee. “Yeah no kidding,” said Leo as he quickly climbed to the top of his back.The landslide where Elmer was standing on began to fall forward as he jumped on another one until he finally landed at the area that was close the cave. He galloped as fast as he could, the ground behind him was falling apart, and when he jumped inside the cave, the boulders behind him were blocking the entrance. 

 

 Afterwards, the earth became still again. Leo jumped from Elmer’s back as they breathed in and out with relief. “Are you ok?” Elmer asked while panting. 

 

“Yeah, I’m fine. And that was the biggest earthquake I’ve ever seen! What’s going on here?” 

 

“Just by the looks of that disaster, I couldn’t put my trunk on it. But I’m assuming that it’s probably the first sign of the end of the world.” 

 

“The End of The World?” 

 

“Hey, it’s just my assumption. It’s not like I can predict anything.” Leo felt emotionally unstable when he started to realize that their world was coming to an end as the volume of his voice started from low to loud. 

 

“Oh, so your ‘assuming’ that it’s the end of the world since there’s very little food left, the whole savannah is turning into a drought, we got nowhere to go, all of our families are missing, we’re the only two animals left behind on this God-forsaken planet and then the next thing you know we’ll be caught by some… huge ginormous flood!” 

 

Suddenly, they heard a huge thump-like crack in the distance and turned their heads to the right. “Uh, Leo” said Elmer, looking as though he was nervous about what would happen next. At five steps ahead of them, a huge roar of moving water was coming right in their direction. 

 

As it came in faster and faster, Leo shouted, “RUN!!!” So they did. As the two animals kept running towards the end of the other tunnel, another exit was being blocked. Leo tried to get the rocks out the tunnel and Elmer tried to push them with his head. 

 

But when the flood came 4 steps closer, Elmer said nervously “Pleo, I mean Leo, right, is that your name?” 

 

“Yes, of course.” 

 

“Climb on my back,” Elmer said directly as he kneeled on his knee. 

 

“Why?” 

 

“Just trust me,” Elmer answered as he took two steps back for a short second and then successfully broke through the wall and fell down into the riverbank. 

 

The two animals immediately walked out of the riverbank as Leo shook his body to get the water off of his fur and his mane until it was dry. “Thanks for that,” said Leo. “Now where are we”? 

 

“That’s strange, I don’t recall if this jungle was ever deserted before.” 

 

And then, Leo slowly looked down at the ground with astonishment and surprise and saw something that finally caught his eye. “They…they were here.” 

 

“What?” 

 

“Look at these tracks. These animals are all in just one group leading to straight into that Jungle. A-And here, it even has the paw prints of my kind as well as your kind. This could be our first clue.”

 

 “Or the path that would lead us straight to the valley,” Elmer added as he smelled the paw prints with his trunk. “I don’t know that’s just my second guess.”

 

 Leo became exhilarated. “Elmer, this is it! This is where we’re going to see our family again! We’re finally going to get home!” 

 

“Well in that case, lead the way. Speaking of which, I never actually knew I had a family before.” 

 

“We’ll find a way to get your memories back,” Leo said as they walked straight into the deserted jungle.

 

 The sky was then darkened with grey storm clouds, as there were rumbles of thunder. Leo was walking on a horizontal tree branch and Elmer was walking through the bushes. The elephant started to look around and said, “This all seems… very familiar. And I can’t even remember why.” 

 

“You know this jungle?”

 

 “Again, I don’t recall. It must have been something bad about it, but I just can’t remember what it was.”

 

 Suddenly, a lightning bolt struck the tallest tree of the jungle and the tree started to burn. “It must be that, right,” said Leo 

 

“Yeah, I think so. Hop on.”

 

As soon as Leo jumped on Elmer’s back, the fire began to spread. Elmer started to gallop but the fire was closing in on him. They found a pathway out, but a burning tree branch suddenly blocked it. Elmer began to stand on his two feet, kicking his front feet in the air, and tooted his trumpet loudly until he came down on his four feet. Leo began to roar furiously as a call for help, but no one answered. The fire cornered the two animals and Leo said with medium anxiety 

“Don’t panic, don’t panic.” The lion started to look around and saw another pathway through the jungle behind them. 

“Through there!” Leo cried. 

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“I’m positive.”

 

 So then Elmer turned around and rushed towards the exit with a fallen tree branch in the way. As he kept going faster and faster, Elmer quickly said, “Leo, I’m not sure jumping over that tree branch is such a good idea.”Leo was leaning over to his ear, looking at him straight in the eye and said with inspiration, “Elmer, you must… believe!” The elephant came at a close stop near the branch and jumped over it without a single scratch and ran straight towards the exit. 

“Yes!” shouted Leo with excitement, “I knew you could do it!” Then a giant burning tree started to fall on them and they ran right past it as few more burning trees started to fall. As they made their escape out of the burning jungle, the two animals reached to the edge of the cliff where the river was below them. “Aw, seriously?” cried Leo. They both turned around to see the trees knocking down each other toward their direction. With no other choice, the two animals jumped off the edge of the cliff and all the rocks and branches fell along with them. Then one big tree branch knocked Elmer on the head as Leo fell off from the elephant’s back and into the river. 

 

Leo backed away from all the rocks and branches that were also in the water and swam up to the surface where he grabbed on to a branch that was floating. He coughed and called out Elmer’s name twice until he quickly turned around and gasped, seeing the upper part of Elmer’s body on the branch and slowly sinking right into the water. Rapidly, Leo dived in the water and grabbed hold of Elmer’s neck with all his might and reached up to the surface dragging the elephant to the shallow part of the river. As he got closer and closer to the land, the entire sky started to rain. 

“We did it” Leo said, “We survived.” He got close to Elmer’s body, grabbed his foot, and he couldn’t feel a pulse. “Elmer, are you there, buddy?” He pulled his huge flappy ear with his mouth, getting his attention to move, but he wasn’t moving. Leo felt devastated and his eyes started to water. “Oh no. Oh no, no, no.” Leo said as he started to doubt himself“oh, I’m so sorry buddy. This is all my fault. If I had fallowed my instincts in the first place, we wouldn’t be in this mess. All I wanted to do is to see my best friend in the whole savanna again.” He started to sniff. “You were my only friend during my childhood and you were still my friend even if you lost your memory. I just wish you would come back to me now.”

 

Leo put his paw on his eyes as he started to sob quietly, then Elmer slowly got up on his four legs and opened his eyes. “Hey, Leo.” 

 

“Yeah.” 

 

“Remember the time you saved me from that quicksand when we were kids?” 

 

Leo smiled as he rubbed off his tears with amazement. “Elmer, you’re back!” The two animals hugged each other with relief and contentment. 

 

“I know, I missed you too bud. Oh, and I think I found a way to reach the valley.”

 

“How?” 

 

The elephant pointed his trunk to the top of a cliff that was right in front of them. “That’s impossible” Leo said, “How are we going to get there”? Elmer knocked down a giant tree with his front feet, Leo climbed on the top of his back, and they walked straight up to the cliff.

 

As they kept walking and reach to the top part of the cliff, the wind was gusting through their faces and the entire land was covered in fog. 

“Maybe this isn’t the place,” said Leo. 

 

“This has to be. After all, I got my memory back.” 

 

“Well then lets see if you’re right.” 

 

The wind blew harder and harder with the fog flowing along with it. The fog suddenly cleared as the sun was shinning brightly showing the entire valley and all the animals that lived there. “There it is,” said Leo as he stared directly at the valley. “We made it! We made it! I knew I had it in you!” 

 

“I couldn’t have done it without you, Leo.” Said Elmer as he walked down towards the valley. “And look, our family is down there”. 

 

 “Its good to have you back, buddy”. 

 

“Yes, Its good to be back”. The two animals finally became reunited with their families and they eventually found mates as well. 

 


Submitted: February 08, 2021

© Copyright 2021 travis archer. All rights reserved.

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