Narok the Maasai Warrior
“Narok the Maasai Warrior” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Cian Almeida, Al Muntazir Boys Primary School, Tanzania.
Narok the Maasai Warrior
The sky was pitch black that night. The only light source was a large and bright full moon. Its powerful light sent all the stars into hiding. A baby’s cry echoed throughout the midnight air. It came from the foothills of Ol Doinyo Lengai - the mountain of the gods. A male child was born to the famous Maasai clan of Oleshagegilolotorliloi. He was named Narok.
Narok’s mother would carry him everywhere. She performed laborious tasks such as collecting water from distant waterholes for the Manyatta. His mother’s chores exposed him to dangerous situations, where his mother had to trick and fight hyenas and buffalos in order to reach home safely.
Narok absorbed all that he saw, preparing him for the Maasai life. He grew into a strong, healthy and clever teenager. The elders taught him how to run like gazelles, jump like a gibbon monkeys and endure like an African wild dogs. He was skilled in hunting with a spear, club and machete.
Finally, Narok was ready for his initiation to prove his warrior skills. The initiation is part of a tradition for all Maasai adolescents. The sun was mercilessly scalding the earth that afternoon. Nevertheless, Narok stood tall. He was ready to be put to the test. He was going to make his mother proud. The entire clan came to watch that day. Narok held his shield firmly towards his chest and raised his spear high; with a loud confident cry he began his journey into the jungle to prove his worth.
The jungle was dark and deep. Light could hardly penetrate through the thick canopy of trees. The air was dense and musky. Narok did not falter. The distant whoops of the hyenas and roars of the lions made him proceed with caution.
He lit a fire using the friction of stones and a pile of dried leaves. He then positioned himself behind a large rock. Soon he realised that there were different animals around him, and he had to make sure that the fire was kept alive or else risk being attacked by these wild animals.
At the break of dawn Narok set out for a watering hole and saw Impalas. His hunger drove him to swiftly kill an Impala with his spear. After he had eaten, he decided to use the hind leg as bait for the lion he needed to kill. To prove himself worthy, he had to bring back its head.
Narok used wet mud from the edge of the water hole to coat his whole body in order to conceal his scent from the lion. Then he tied the hind leg of the impala onto a high branch of an acacia tree. He scattered dry leaves around the tree. The crunching of the leaves would give him enough time to react towards the approaching lion.
A sudden roar warned Narok that danger was close. The bloody scent of the fresh limb successfully attracted the lion. He readied himself with his spear in his hand and prepared for the attack, which he knew would happen anytime soon.
Everything was still. Not the slightest sound was heard. Suddenly there was a slight crackle of the leaves. It came from his right. He instinctively twisted his body and swiftly swung his spear towards the noise. It found its mark. The lion to let out a loud moan. It swung its outstretched paw desperately trying to defend itself and found Narok’s thigh scratching him lightly.
Narok knew it wasn’t over yet. A wounded lion seeks revenge. He drew his machete from its sheath, quickly leapt onto its mane and with his left hand slashed its throat. The gurgling sound of blood from that strike confirmed his victory. He had won his kill.
The proud warrior carried his trophy back to the Manyatta. The severed head made the elders of his tribe proud. He was accepted and from that moment considered to be a Maasai warrior of the Oleshagegilolotorliloi clan.