Ashanti and the King of Rhinos

Reads: 693  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

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

Ashanti crawled sluggishly on her stomach and peered through the tall grass that swung silently to the wind. There he was: Boipelo, the massive white rhinoceros that had been roaming around the village for almost a week. Ashanti had spent all her childhood listening to the stories of Imamu, the tribe’s elder, and the tale of Boipelo had always been her favorite. Legend had it the warrior who could slay that mighty beast and eat its flesh would be granted eternal life. Ashanti had sneaked out of the village with her younger brother Imari and they had agreed they would share the spoils after their battle against the king of rhinos. 

- There he is, Imari whispered, that is certainly Boipelo.
- Yes, Ashanti nodded, I knew he was big, but I never thought he would be so… beautiful.
- I know, the brother agreed, I always pictured him as a hideous, foul beast.
- That old man could never tell his stories right, could he?

The comment had Imari snickering, making Boipelo suddenly turn his head towards them. He had small eyes, but they were bright and deep, piercing through the tall grass, looking for the origin of that laughter. Ashanti covered her brother’s mouth and froze into place, starring into the plains, slowly lowering her head. She glanced quickly at him, wondering if she had made the wrong choice. She had debated bringing Imari with her all night, knowing he was probably too young for such an adventure, that he would make mistakes, but that she also loved him too much to leave him behind. They had always been close and they always stuck together, no matter what. But this was not the average hunt. 

-Do you think he sees us, he mumbled through her hand.
-Shut up! He’s looking right into my eyes, you idiot. Be quiet.

The rhino walked a few steps in their direction, then stopped. He stood still, his head up in the air, as if he was waiting for a signal. Hadn’t he been a life threat, he would indeed have been gracious, with the warm morning light shining on his back.  

Ashanti grabbed her long spear and stood up despite her brother’s silent protests. Ignoring him, she got into fighting position and pointed her weapon at Boipelo, a frightening war cry coming out of her. She looked fierce. It was enough to bring Imari on his feet as well, a sharp warrior knife in each hand. 

Boipelo lowered his head and charged. For an animal of his size, he was fast. He ran across the few hundred feet of savanna separating them, and before they could do anything, the two siblings had to roll out of his way, each to a different side. The rhino quickly stopped and turned around, charging again, aiming right at Ashanti, who for the first time was paralyzed with fear. Imari screamed at her and threw his knife smoothly at the rhinoceros, hitting him in the head, making him deviate his path just before hitting the girl. She suddenly came back to her senses and thrusted her spear into his side while he was running by her, the beast grunting deeply in pain. But unfortunately for her, the spear had gotten stuck in his body and Boipelo seemed to be as vivid as always.

-Imari, distract him!
-Distract him? Are you kidding me? What are you going to do?
-Just distract him so I can get my spear back, damn it!

She sprinted out of sight before her brother could say anything else, hiding back into the grass. She watched him yell and wave his remaining knife frantically at the rhino, eventually gaining his attention. While they played the game of charge and dodge, she sneaked behind the animal like she was the predator and he was the prey. Ashanti jumped onto his rough back, holding his horn with one hand while she tugged roughly at her spear with the other, sending Boipelo into an enraged run, the rhino jumping and bucking violently as she firmly held her position. When she finally got her spear out, his dark red blood sprayed the ground with a big gush, the beast’s atrocious wail of agony echoing throughout the plains. The animal bucked once more, harder than ever, surprising the girl this time, sending her flying back to the earth, her leg hitting a large rock. She moaned in pain. She tried to stand back up, but fell back on the grass as soon as her wounded foot touched the ground. 

Imari did his best to protect her stabbing the air with his knife, trying to stop Boipelo in his slow stride. The king of rhinos swung his head and impaled the boy’s chest dismissively, killing him on the spot, to Ashanti’s horror. He stopped with his heavy head hanging on top of her.

“You have fought well, child.”

Ashanti gasped. Boipelo, king of the rhinoceroses, had spoken. Spoken without moving his mouth. But she could hear his grave voice in her head. She was frightened and mesmerized at the same time, like she had been gifted a whole new meaning to the world. She had never experienced anything like it.

“You have fought well, but you cannot vanquish me. Many have tried, but nobody can. Still, you have come for, young one, and I give you a choice. You are weak and wounded. Walk back to your village and grow old as a totem of defeat, or die right here as a warrior.”

-Kill me, Ashanti muttered, but let me touch your horn again. It must be the biggest symbol of your pride, great one.

“Every king has some pride, indeed.”

Boipelo lowered his head to present his horn.

-But not every king is smart, Ashanti whispered.

She grinned widely as his blood spouted on her face as she dug her spear into his neck. There would be a feast that night.


Submitted: February 12, 2017

© Copyright 2022 Greg H. Alves. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Facebook Comments

Other Content by Greg H. Alves