The Orphan



When I read reports of rhino poaching like one I have just read tonight, I try imagine what the animals experienced to try share their grief, to feel their pain. The story I see in my mind starts with a scene where a family of three rhinos are  wandering peacefully in a reserve, there is a mother, she is pregnant and there are her two offspring close by her side. The family are being watched, a gang of poachers has tracked them down, the serenity is soon shattered, gunfire erupts from the bushes. The one 9 month old youngster bolts and manages to escape, but the brother and mother are badly wounded and collapse on the ground. The poachers then emerge and while the two lie dying on the ground the poachers proceed to hack the horns off their heads. Are they already dead or are the dying, is the baby inside the mothers womb still alive as they violently hack off the horns? I block this question out my head, it is too painful to even comprehend or picture them being alive whilst this happens. The young boy is now alone, he is an orphan, his family are gone. He must have heard the noises, the fear and sense of loss he has to try bury inside his heart because he may be next. Hours later he is wandering around, scared, heartbroken and tired. More humans then appear, they to have guns, a shot goes off and he feels a stinging sensation as a dart penetrates his skin. He tries to escape, but his legs grow week and he collapses onto the ground. People appear, he probably thinks his fate is sealed as well. The men come up to him, one of them puts a piece of material over his eyes and his world goes dark. He waits for what he expects is going to happen to him like it did to his family, but instead he feels a hand touch his body and stroke him gently. It feels soothing and he.can sense that these are people who are not like the horrible ones that took his family from him, he will live, but he is traumatized, he misses his family, who will keep him company, will he ever forget this day?

What have we become? How can anyone be so darn cruel? I morn for his family as the tears come pouring out. Rest in peace you beautiful beings, I am sorry for what we have done to you and your family young one left behind.