Animal Dilemmas – Rhino Gibbon
The Gibbon recovered once again from its wounds and the Butterflies were gone forever. It was decided by the highest authority that the Gibbon’s soul will be left to roam the earth when finally the monkey finds its end.
Unlike previously overcome struggles and pains this time the Gibbon’s spirit was broken as well. The bullet has damaged the monkey’s nerves and the lead had entered its blood stream, effectively poisoning its brain. The Gibbon’s brain no longer received a steady supply of oxygen. Instead it flickered with random rushes of energy in the middle of long lame periods.
This made the monkey stay folded on a tree branch trying to make sense of its loneliness for the most of the day. And randomly, it jumped madly from tree to tree speaking to itself about butterflies and clouds, zebras and lions, dry fruits and the end of days. It became notorious in the patch of trees and the few other monkeys started avoiding it.
Even the lions cursed it for the Gibbon often woke them during their afternoon nap. The flocks of birds that feasted on the fruits in the tress rose in clouds as the mad monkey approached. Soon there was not a living creature in the trees and below them that didn’t wish the Gibbon dead. The monkey acted unlike any other monkey. It was loud and provocative. It vanished from sight for long periods only to return predicting the end of days.
The lions were so annoyed that they sent a few young wild cats up the trees to chase it down and kill it. The young lions were no match for the monkey in its own habitat. But they managed to catch and kill two old gibbons that had lived in those trees longer that anyone else.
The small community of tree dwellers had enough with the mad monkey and conspired to rid of it. Several times bands of birds descended on it simultaneously but the Gibbon snapped into action and chased them away. The other monkeys tried to talk to it and convince it to leave but the Gibbon was hardly able to make sense of their words.
Th Gibbon’s thoughts spiraled so fast in its head that only random phrases came to its mouth. And when it heard sounds from the outside world they entered the chaos inside its head and only exited fragmented and incoherent. The Gibbon was only vaguely aware that it was crazy, for the most part it felt slow but normal.
The assaults from the other animals had forced it to retreat to a tree on the edge of the tree island. Beyond that tree was miles of savanna where monkeys could not survive. The lions were lurking underneath. Hyenas came around at night searching for leftovers.
One fine morning when the Gibbon was still in a lame sleep, a giant rhino in a mating frenzy in a chase of a female missed a turn and crashed head on into the tree the monkey was sleeping on. The tree shook like a drunk hyena and the Gibbon flew down before it could scramble to hold on to a branch.
The monkey landed right on top of the Rhino which was not shaken at all from the collision and bolted away immediately. The Gibbon was wide awake now and rolled back several times nearly flying off the giant animal. Just before the butt of the Rhino the monkey buried its nails it the thick skin and remained fix for a while.
The Rhino reached the river, where the female has entered, and halted on the edge. The monkey felt the jerk forward and used the moment to climb back to the front wrapping its hands around the Rhino’s horn. The disoriented Gibbon stepped on the Rhino’s nose and its eyes effectively attracting its attention.
The giant beast shook its head in an attempt to rid of the monkey. But the Gibbon held the horn firmly wrapping its entire body around it. The Rhino grunted annoyed and entered the water. There was a few other rhinos in the slow current including the female it chased. The Rhino headed in the direction of the female. The female rhino was deep into the water just on the edge of the slow current. One step further and the fast river would take it away.
The Rhino didn’t like the river, it liked muddy shallow ponds where it could cool off and roll in the wet soil. The river was too fast and full of crocodiles. They would never attack a rhino but they were intimidating.
As the Rhino reached the female his entire body submerged. Only its horn and the top of his head above water with the monkey sticking out. The Gibbon didn’t exactly realize what was happening. It felt the water and it didn’t like it. But it was too far to go back.
The Rhino stood parallel to the female and rubbed its horn into hers, trying to shake off the monkey. The Gibbon panicked and let go of the horn, jumped and held the female’s horn. The female was not happy with having a monkey on her face so it lowered its head and bended its front legs submerging the monkey.
The Gibbon felt as if its head was turned inside out and its spiraling mind spilled into the world. It scrambled for she surface but the murky water had no mercy. With one bounce off the back of one of the rhinos the Gibbon reached the surface and inhaled. It kicked for the safety of the horn but the fast river took it on and carried it down in the direction of the crocodile bank.
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