Monday, July 30, 2007

Entry #39

Namibian Safari
by Julie Bourbeau

I sit on the inside seat, Salome gets in next. I motion Petrus Antonius toward the seat across the aisle, but he looks confused, and the three of us squeeze into two seats on the bus. I am at a wild game park in Namibia.

Salome dances a little to the music piped in over the loud speakers of the bus, and I join her, displaying less rhythm in my whole body than she has in one smooth head bob. Petrus looks up at us shyly, but he’s embarrassed, and looks out the window again.

I grow tired and stop dancing. Salome points out the window and starts to identify the animals on our safari drive.

“Goat,” she says, pointing to a cow.

I give Petrus my notebook and pen. He draws a zebra and his mother. His self portrait towers over them in the sunny scene. There’s more safari on his page than we see in person.

I want elephants, giraffe, every creature to wander around outside our windows. I want the animals to know that these children on the bus haven’t been here before. I want the animals to be the ones dancing in African rhythms.

We drive across nothing, and then the bus slows. There’s something in the great distance. It comes closer. Disposable cameras poise outside the windows.

“Goats,” I finally say to Salome. Cows.


Beth said...

Super cute, heart-warming ending.

takoda said...

I agree with Beth. A nice slice-of-life story. I felt like I was on the bus. But I'm not getting the connection to the picture. Somebody else's story was like that for me. I really liked it, but didn't 'see' Jason's picture in it.

onipar said...

I also agree, very nice story, but wasn't quite seeing the forest and halo effect.

Victor j. Banis said...

Well, I said before, it's funny, isn't it, how so many people can see such different stories in the pic.

Nice slice of life, yes, good characterizations

SzélsőFa said...

although I too, don't see the connection with the photo and its suggested title, this story flowed well. Great description of kids.

c.s. said...

simple, yet with the ability to hook readers. good job!

Jeff said...

Cute story.

Anonymous said...

Great story. Well-written.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Nice story and well written. Good visual imagery - I can just see those children in my mind.

JLB said...

A well-illustrated story! My favorite part is "I want the animals to know that these children on the bus haven’t been here before."

Thérèse said...

I really liked this, Julie.

“Goats,” I finally say to Salome. Cows.

Great line, given its echo above. Love it.

jason evans said...

A good capture of a very real feeling moment. Skillful. Something about the voice hints at the character's boredom.

High marks! A contender.