Walking through the crowds of animals in search of food for the never ending appetite of one singing Hippo named Kathy; our two friends are stopped by a new admirer of Kathy’s; a mysterious and old Gazelle.
-Young lady that was quite some singing you did there a few
-Why thank you, sir. Forgive me, have we met?
-No. Permit me to introduce myself. I am Farasi.
-Farasi. I am Marcus. And I believe you now know Kathy.
-Marcus, a King, I believe. And Kathy. It is my pleasure to know you both. I am visiting here for only a day or so and must go back to my home. I would like to invite you both to a dinner I am hosting in my private tent just beyond the trees to the left of the river. Would you like to be my special guests?
-Why yes Farasi. We would be delighted, answered Marcus.
-Yes sir, thank you, agreed a smiling Kathy.
A short while later Marcus and Kathy arrived at the tent of Farasi. Such exotic sights to see….Red, gold, and silver silk furnishings and the finest and most elegant silver table settings. The smell of cinnamon spice and heat filled the air. Smoke floated through the air from the male guests sucking on hookahs in one corner. Ladies to the right dressed in a most elegant yellow, laughed and giggled telling tales to one another. The tent itself seemed to breathe and take a life of its own as the music from a band of chimps played to the beat of their own imaginings.
-Kathy, Marcus. Welcome. Come in, come in, cried Farasi. -Please sit down and eat with us.
Dinner was Hummus, Falafels, Tagine, and Cous-Cous followed by Mint Tea and dates and nuts.
As the band played Kathy began to feel the rhythms tug at her soul strings. The drummers, sensing a kindred in their midst, nodded to Kathy and invited her to dance. And dance she did. Without a word. Without looking to anyone but the drummers she stood, arms outstretched, back straight, curls flowing, and moved to the center of the room to dance. Slowly at first and then moving her hips to follow the pounding of the drums Kathy began to call others to dance with her. As she moved about the circle, Kathy pointed her half-hoofed hand to faces filled with surprise and joy and brought them to her with a smile and a giggle. And before long the whole room was dancing; Marcus, Farasi; everyone in the style of their fathers and their fathers before them.
The evening ended under the stars of a dark blue African night with the smoke from a hundred hookahs, the scent of cinnamon spice in the air, and the dance of a thousand hooves- and one Lion named Marcus. The sounds of freedom and of laughter and forgetting.
And the story continues to cook…