Flame, aka Jack, Old Boy – one of the heroes of this story
I am happy to announce that “Friends: An African Adventure”, Book two in the Fauna Park Tales Series has been released on 22 May 2015 and is now available as an e-Book as well as a 122-page black-and-white paperback on Amazon.
The saga continues as Flame and his furry and feathered friends strive to protect Fauna Park, sticking to The Promise to care for and support vulnerable bush creatures. They face new foes who cause serious damage in their valley. During a rescue mission, Flame is seriously injured. To encourage his friend to remain strong, Hope finally tells his story. There are a few surprises, a few sad faces and quite a few confusions, but life remains great in Molodi. Here is an excerpt from chapter one of “An African Adventure: Friends”.
For those of us living on a free-range cattle farm in Molodi – a sunny, out-of-the-way valley in the grasslands of southern Africa – life was great during the year of The Promise, when self-proclaimed Protector and V.I.P of the area – an ordinary desert dog called Flame – remembered his promise to his first mistress, Lera. She had died under mysterious circumstances in the desert. While many furry and feathered friends helped him to care for helpless bush creatures, he did not forget those responsible for his loss – a tall leader and his gang of poachers.
We, furry and feathered friends often gathered outside the porch for our early morning chit-chats. While some perched in the acacia with me, Flame and his friends mostly lay in its shade. Many times we chatted about interesting things such as how it came about that we ended up on the farm and at other times about the best ways to care for Fauna Park. During that time, we also promised our friend, Martin the martial eagle, that we would try our best to find out what had happened to his lost hatchlings many moons ago.
For the rest of that year things were going well and we wondered whether we should call our sanc’tree Peace Park, after all. Yet, at times, we felt gloomy. Regardless of Flame’s brilliant smelling skills, the poachers had vanished, leaving the police and us, frustrated. Therefore, many things to do with the poachers continued to confuse us. At one particular time, Flame and his furry and feathered friends thought that poachers were dangerous, rotten eggs!
Fortunately, I was there to explain to them that Cook Katie’s Sunday breakfast of poached eggs had nothing to do with bad humans called poachers. Hopefully, they were no longer in Molodi because “things became too hot for them,” as John James – Flame’s new master – often said.
During the year of The Promise, one of Flame’s foes was a mysterious, young French-speaking martial eagle – called Mars – who came hunting inside Fauna Park. After Flame had grappled with him, he showed him a place in the Llokodi Hills where he could hunt. We never saw him again that year and thought that he might remain an enemy, rather than become a friend. Other foes like Plump-Grump, the stubborn goat, changed. He, his harem and their many kids no longer rummaged in the garden unless Flame or one of the porch animals opened the red gate for them.
You may perhaps wonder who I am and what I do. My name is Hope – the storyteller of Fauna Park’s tales. I perch in the highest tree, an African acacia, near the farmhouse. From this spot, I see and hear what happens in the kitchen, on the porch, and outside in the farmyard. For now, I can tell you that John James and all the villagers are having a hard time, because the rains have not come yet and grazing fields are dry and brittle.
Photographs of the area near the Mmokolodi Game reserve provided the inspiration for the “Llokodi Hills” far in the distance. During the dry season – winter – in this part of the world, the bush is dry and brittle.
Black-and-white illustrated paperback – click to buy: