The Right To Lead The Clan

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about a older leader of a clan of gorillas who is about to fight another gorilla to the death for the right to lead.

Submitted: November 29, 2019

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Submitted: November 29, 2019

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The Right To Lead The Clan

 

by Matthew Bissonnette

 

 

 

 

 

As the rest of my clan gathered around I and my opponent Strong Fist as we prepared to fight each other for the right to lead a pack of gorillas as the noon`s sun cast shafts of sunlight through the canopy of the jungle which surrounded us; as I looked into my opponents eyes I knew I might lose this fight and perhaps my life and finally be ousted as leader of my clan; I felt some solace and comfort. As that other silver back gorilla Strong Fist looked at me; hatred burning in his eyes I knew like me he was strong and could be a good protector and leader of our clan; for the strongest had to lead for it was the duty of a clan`s leader to protect his pack; even if it meant his life. So if I lost; then no longer would I feel the pressure of having my pack`s survival placed on my shoulders. Unlike him though, I was no longer young. Strong for my age and wise, wisdom I had gained during my life in this jungle; I had been a good leader. But now that time would either continue or end depending on who won this fight.

The name given to me by my mother when I was young and cradled in her arms was Silver Hide. I was born in another clan, son of the clan`s leader; my father Subtle Rage. When I was young, my father taught me much. One thing he taught me was that the strongest had to lead; because a clan`s leader was a protector of the clan from the many threats we feared in this jungle. He told me once that a clan leader has to be willing to not only protect, but give his life for the clan he cared for and which cared for him; that a clan leader only led as long as he was the strongest. And that someone stronger would come and oust the clan leader and be deposed. Also, the right to lead was always decided by a fight of fists, fangs and brutality. He said that gorillas should only use brutality when it comes to protecting their clan and those they cared for; but said that to be gentle and all other times.

However, as soon as I reached maturity; I was brash and did something which made my clan turn their back on me and cast me out. I challenged my father Subtle Rage to a fight; perhaps to the death for the right to lead. When I challenged him, he accepted and looked at me with shame. We fought for an hour, on the ground; then both climbing one of the towering trees and fighting on its top. However, when I went for a winning blow in the fight; he grabbed me and used his immense strength to throw me from the limb of that tree and I plummeted to the ground and lay motionless on the muddy ground of the jungle; the gorillas of the clan standing around me; looking at me in mute silence. My father then climbed down the tree and looked down at me.

When I looked up at him; hurt by my fall; he said that he was casting me out. He said that he felt shame; not shame for the fact that his son had challenged his own father but felt shame that someone young thought he could be a better protector his clan than some older and wiser. He said that the strong had to lead; but that strength has to be tempered with wisdom and wisdom only comes with age. He then said to leave his clan and never return. 

I got up and limped away; hurt by my fall. My whole clan turned their backs to me, the only one that looked at me limping away was my mother who made a sad moaning sound as I ventured off into the wilderness alone; I would never see them again. I not knowing what happened to my original clan would haunt me for the rest of my life.

For months I ventured alone in the jungle; feeding myself on the foliage of the jungle; sleeping alone in the cold of the night and feeling a profound sense of grief for being cast out. That had to be a time of my existence where grief was a constant and cruel companion. 

One morning as the sun rose majestically over the jungle and the sounds of birds filled the wilderness; when I woke up I saw a female gorilla look down at me. She was my age and like me looked healthy and strong. She asked why a gorilla was alone and without a pack of his own and I told her the story of my father and how youthful arrogance had caused me to be cast out.

She said her name was Tender Eyes; she said she came from a clan of gorillas where all the males were young; all the adults were female and their elderly leader had died of age leaving them without a protector. She said her clan would take me in because I like my father was large and strong; but only if I lead and protected her clan that was without a leader. Wanting to end my solitude, I agreed. I know I lead a clan; without a brutal fight to determine the right to lead which was unusual for gorillas and their clans.

So for the next year I lead and got to know this clan. Quickly I grew to care for them and by year`s end I knew I would give my life for them for they had ended my time alone; and also because I quickly grew to love Tender Eyes who would be the mother of my children as the years went on.

As the years passed, I grew wise. Wise when it came to how to forage for food, wise when it came to identifying threats and how to either use my strength to scare threats away, my growing wisdom had made me a wise leader. Moreover, this clan which I loved; especially my mate Tender Eyes; treated me with respect which was returned. For they were all I had in this world.

But now I was older. I was still strong, but age was a specter that no gorilla could escape. Also, a newly mature male gorilla named Strong Fist challenged me for the right to lead. He, like I had been once, was brash. He said that he was younger and stronger and that he would kill me to prove he was the best leader; as our clan stood around us.

I looked and Tender Eyes for a moment who looked at me with profound sadness in her eyes then looked back at my opponent. I said that the strongest are the ones with the only right to lead; but strength is meaningless unless it is guided by wisdom that only comes with age. I told him that I would fight him, even to the death; and if he won then he would lead.

I wanted him to win honestly; for I feared my strength was diminishing and that my clan needed someone younger to lead; and feel relief that the clan I loved would have a new protector and that I would either die in this fight or lose and die of age knowing my clan would be safe. But I would fight with everything I had; I had to know he was the best protector.

Strong Fist then charged at me and jumped into the air as he roared; he then landed on me pinning me to the ground as he rained powerful blows down on me. I then used my fangs to bite his leg and he growled in pain. I then forced him off me and got up; he charged again but I rushed towards him and knocked him to the ground and used my foot to pin him down. Everytime he tried to get up, I knocked him back down to the floor of the jungle with my foot. 

My clan watched as he finally got up and then I chased him towards a towering tree in the jungle. He climbed up to its top as I climbed after him. He crawled across a branch and was about to leap to another tree. I looked down at the branch then use my massive strength and foot to snap the branch and Strong Fist fell a great distance to the floor of the jungle. I then leaped down and landed near my opponent and looked down at the injured Strong Fist. He looked up at me; face blooded and then lifted his had as an act of submissiveness. I told him he lost; but when he was older, I wanted him to challenge me again.

Then my whole clan started to howl and Tender Eyes approached me and we looked at each other.

I had won and would lead for a while longer; but I knew someday my clan would get another strong leader, be protected and that made me feel solace. For I knew my clan would survive.

 

The End


© Copyright 2020 Matthew Bissonnette. All rights reserved.

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