Courage

From a collection of 100-word stories & wonders

A Samburu warrior stands his ground in a life-and-death test of wills with his people’s ancient adversary. Photo by Retlaw Snellac Photography, via flickr.

samburu

Kujaa was granted his spear and manhood in the same instant. Today he towered beside the waterhole, nostrils flared, spear poised, his glistening ebony sinews flexed for battle. The lion stood a heartbeat away, full-maned, tail flicking, fixed black pupils spellbinding. Likewise Kujaa’s good eye beneath sweat-beaded brows, assaying that amber stare. Air, birds, cicadas: the world went deadly still. The lion tensed to spring. Suddenly, decisively, Kujaa laughed. The lion’s gaze faltered. Kujaa sang out, “Return to your shade tree, olng’atuni. No battle today.” The tawny tail ceased swinging. Kujaa turned, sauntered away through knee-high grass.

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