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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Unexpected Company

Copyright 2010
Dalton Lasher

Sanba, The Jungle Boy

    Sanba, The Jungle Boy
Deep in the jungle of darkest Africa lived a boy named Sanba.The village where Sanba lived was hidden deep in
the very centre of the jungle, many miles from any other tribe. Days & nights were not measured by hours &
minutes as we measure time, but by the rising & setting of the sun.
 Sanba was, as we would say,a loner.He would spend much of his time alone with his animal friends who lived
nearby. There were four of the jungle creatures that wre almost like family to him & he had grown to love
them in their ways & their very nature. They had become so close in their friendship that his thoughts &
theirs were almost as one. He felt at ease in their midst.He was truly the original jungle boy.

 His people were of a tribe whose contact with the outside world was nonexistent, not only because of where
their village was, but because they chose to live apart from modern man. At night while sitting around the fire
Sanba would listen intently as the old men of the village would talk in whispers amongst themselves.They talked
about the secret mountain far removed, deep in the hidden recesses of the jungle.

 They would speak of another tribe that had long ceased to exist. Their talk was very private & hushed because
it was rumoured that within this secret mountain lay the treasures of the gods.Legend had it that entrance to the
area was strictly forbidden to outsiders.

 A spark of curiosity began to grow as he sat there quietly. The light from the fire dancing & playing, causing
glowing sparks to rise & vanish into the darkness of the night, creating mysterious shadows that seemed to come
alive. His face was serious as the light reflected on his young countenance. It was a look of intrique that
possessed him, & he knew that he had to learn more about this strange place. A place that cause grown men to
speak almost in reverence.

 He had made up his mind that he must go to this forbidden land. It was like an uncontrollable burning deep
inside him that drove him to search & find this evasive treasure. He knew that if he didn't obey his inner
feelings,this burning would never be satisfied. 

 It was quickly becoming a part of his life, & he found he couldn't fight the feelings of what he had to do no
matter what the cost may be to himself. It was something that he must do. It was like the choice was not his, but
it lay in the hands of some higher power.

Because of his relationship with the animals of the jungle, he had named each one, claiming them as his friends.
They were Keno, the tiger, Pico a pet monkey, King, an old lion who had bcome too old to live amongst his own kind
& Tusky a very large African elephant. It was a strange assortment of creatures, but then again nothing in Sanba's
life seemed normal.

 It was rumoured that even though their enemies were gone, the gods still possessed the land. Any man who could
brave their anger in getting into the mountain & capture the hidden treasure was destined to rule his people & his
name would live forever. He had to prove himself a man. In his culture it was a sign of manhood to do something

                                         The Forbidden Mountain
The next day Sanba gathered together his friends & they headed into the forbidden land. For many days they walked,
mile after mile, tired & barefoot until near exhaustion started to over take him. Looking up, there loomed
before him two stone statues that glared down at him, silently forbidding trespassers to enter. The silence that
hung over the place spoke of days gone by when their creators would come to worship at the mountain.  It
whispered of fire offerings customs long lost in the far recesses of time.It was a system known only to
those who at one time possessed the land.

 Sanba slowly drew near, his feet barely able to move as he had to force each step he took, his eyes ever
traveling upward until he gazed into the faces of these guardians of time. It was look of vengence that
he saw carved deep into the stone faces, telling him that he was an intruder in this holy place. He had come not
to worship, but to rob & defile & in Sanba's mind he imagined the gods knowing this.
Fear made its mark on his young face.

 As he neared the sacred entrance large beads of sweat ran down, dripping off his chin only to find a final
resting place on the ground below. His knees were weak & he trembled at every step. He was tormented inwardly
& his heart wrenched as he read the writing on the tablet promising punishment to anyone who dared enter this
hallowed temple.

 It was strange, but everything was suddenly quiet.The birds had stopped their singing & there was a silence in
the jungle that was almost deafening. He stood there, staring at the protectors that hovered so high that they
seemed to touch the tree tops.

 In front of him stood a massive rock that was wedged into the entrance of the cave." What now?" he wondered.
He had come so far & now he was stopped from achieving his goal.He had an idea. Tusky, his elephant friend had
the strength to move that huge, old rock.With great concentration & a power unmatched by any other beast he
pushed & pulled on that enormous stone until it broke loose from its resting place. With heart wrenching groans &
tearing the rock unwillingly yielded up its possession of the entrance to our friends.It lay there on the ground
in complete surrender, knowing if it had been a living thing that it had been defeated.

 The cave was huge inside with its immense spheres clinging to its roof awaiting the time that their weight
would be so great as to cause them to come crashing down on anything or anyone in their path, releasing them from
their prison. As he went deeper into the mountain, his excitment grew with what he saw.Along the walls were ledges
cut deep into the stone with statues & carvings, each telling a story of the kind of life this long forgotten race
had lived.

 His primitive torch flickered with each step he took casting errie shadows on the walls. It was amazing to Sanba,
for he hadn't realized that this tribe had been so advanced in their ways of living.It puzzled him as to why they
had completely disappeared from this place.He was drawn deeper into passageways & tunnels. There were many rooms
at the end of the tunnels that also bore strange pictures like he had seen before." But, where was the treasure he
had heard of?" He began to wonder if such a thing really existed or was it just stories that the men of his
village had dreamed up?

 Sanba walked slowly for a few feet trying to make out what was in front of him. What he saw made him jump back
in fear. Before him, protruding from the sides of the cave were two golden statues in the form of serpents. They
spoke of unknown dangers to anyone who dare tresspass beyond their boundries.Sanba was terrified because of the
fierceness of their countenance.As the golden beasts became a reality to him, their eyes shone magically in the

 As he drew near, he could see that the eyes were large, red stones. They held a familiar look about them. His
Grandfather had one that he told Sanba he had found deep in the forbidden hills many years ago. "Yes,it was the
same." If he remembered correctly his Grandfather had called it, " the stone of fire." The eyes appeared to
have a supernatural look about them.

 Beyond the guardians, Sanba could see a haunting light reflecting its presence in the interior of the cave ahead.
It seemed so huge as to cast such brightness & yet,there seemed to be no explanation as to what was causing it.
Ahead, he could see what looked like an old bridge made of wood  & ropes.He knew it had been there a long time
because the wood had become dark with time. Sanba realized it would be a miracle if it held at all with his

                                           The Cavern Of Doom
Sanba crept slowly past the serpents as if not wanting to arouse their suspicions.His heart was thumping in his
chest.Their long bodies twisted & coiled outwardly toward each other, protecting that which belonged to them &
them alone.As he passed, he saw a stone with words of judgement written on it. It told of the hand of wrath &
warned that anyone who dare travel beyond that point would stir the indignation of the gods & in their fierce
anger they would swallow up anyone by the fires that keep the mountain alive.The fire,it is said was the very
heart of the gods & to provoke them would mean certain death. It was a warning that seemed as if it had been
written just for him.

Sanba was terrified at what he read & beads of perspiration stood out on his forhead in giant bubbles of moisture.
He knew he must not venture further. His mind realed with confusion, but at the same time his overwhelminng
burning grew stronger & stronger as each moment passed. He was tortured from within. His desire to go forward
mounted more & more as he yearned to see the unknown. It seemed like there was no way to extinquish this force
that drove him on.

 He had lost control of his will, making him the possessed of the possesser. It was his destiny & he must
fulfill it.The silence was deafening, & yet, it seemed as if a multitude of voices from a thousand years were
crying out to him to leave this place of doom & dispair.Judgement was upon him. He had dared to intrude in that
which was forbidden.

 As he drew near the inner cave,he could see a huge pit dug deep in the centre of the floor.It was not manmade,
but in its greatness seemed to have been brought about by the hands of that which is not natural. He stared
straight ahead, not daring to look down for fear of what he might see.Sanba mounted he old bridge, & as he took
his first step he realized that he might not make it across.It creaked & shook with every move he made.The
vines that held it together had become threadbare & the wood was so dry that pieces would break off,causing them
to fall into the depths of the pit below.It seemed as if his doom was sealed & in his mind he somehow knew he
would never leave this place alive.

 At the bottom lay an eternal fire.The flames violently licking their way upward until it seemed as if they
would consume the very place were Sanba stood. Mustering the courage he desperately needed,Sanba managed to
lower his eyes & what he saw caused him to freeze in his tracks.At the bottom, lay a red, hot, bubbling bed of
lava,dancing as it were, with a life all its own.He nervously moved across the ancient bridge wondering where
his path would lead.Whether to the lost treasure of the ages or to the bulk of eternity itself.The huge billows
of thick, black smoke rose in unimaginable horror.Each fighting their way to the top of the pit as if they wanted
to lay claim to their victim.It was as if a giant hand was trying to smother him.He couldn't breath, & whatever
air there had been was quickly loosing its power to life.

 The scalding, hot lava angrily boiled in torrents below as if each in turn tried to seek release from its greater
being.The place had become a giant torture chamber, & Sanba knew he must turn back,but it was too late.The deed
was done & all he could do now was to keep going ahead.There was no turning back.Suddenly and without warning the
mountain began to move,slowly at first,then with each passing second it rumbled louder until it was in
uncontrollable spasms,causing huge rocks to rip loose from their resting place,inching their way out of their
lodged positions.The gods were being awakened from eons of slumbersome sleep.They were angry & nothing could
appease them.Their wrath was being poured out in total vengence.

 Sanba screamed in terror as he watched his surroundings crumble before him, barely holding on to the side of
the bridge as it swayed from side to side in violent jerks. It seemed that it might be ripped apart like a thread
because of the throws of pain the mountain was experiencing." How would he ever survive?" he wondered. It was as
if his own presence had started it all.This lash of fury was being heaped on him without mercy.He would now pay
the keepers of the mountain with his life.

 He was nearing the other side when his foot broke through one of the old boards with a thud.He found himself
dangling, barely able to hold on.His life literally hanging by a thread.They were determined to get
him no matter what the cost.They were willing to sacrifice their own existence as long as it meant getting
the revenge they sought.Their anger was fierce & their judgement filled the place with stern consternation.The
fires were rising higher & he knew that if he were to escape,it must be now.

 Something was happening though.The jerking began to ease & the bridge slowed its swaying.With new found strength
exibited only when the will to live is aroused to its fullest potenial,he pulled himself up,landing on his
stomach.And then it stopped. It was as if the gods had spent their last bit of energy in revenge. He lay
there, totally exhausted. His energy was spent.He had given it everything he had.Sanba lay there in total
surrender.Just as suddenly as it ended, the rampage of terror began again, throwing him from side to side until
he thought the ropes would snap, causing him to fall to his death in the depths below.It seemed as if the gods
were toying with him,making him suffer until they were finally ready to grasp hold of him in final victory.

 He could almost touch the other side. Just a few more feet, & with one last burst of energy he lunged forward,
throwing himself headlong on the ground. He was finally clear of his tormentors grasp.

                                            The  Secret Is revealed
Sanba sat there, half stunned by his experience, trying to recapture his thoughts. He stared  in disbelief. It was
as if by magic. His eyes growing wider as a stone panel began to open near him. Slowly it creaked & ground its way
open to its full capacity.It had been centuries since this passageway had moved. It literally screamed surrender
as if the pangs of release tore at its inner most being.The stone ground its way with horrifying sounds until it
had nowhere else to go.

Sanbas eyes widened as he looked in, disbelieving what was before him.For there,in all its glory was a secret room
filled to capacity with gold & jewels of every description.Their brightness almost blinded Sanba & he covered his
eyes against their brilliance, Piles upon piles of riches had been kept hidden for such a long time.Jewels by the
thousands,topped with ivory & golden statues lay in giant mounds emiting myriads of mini rainbows of beauty.He was
so shocked that for awhile all he could do was stare in disbelief.He dare not move incase it was only some kind of
weird dream. Slowly, as he began to approach the treasure he fell on something sharp.As he picked himself up,
there lay at his feet the biggest & brightest diamond he had ever seen.It danced with clarity all its own
as he turned it in his hands,fondling & admiring it.Its brilliance portraying itself like nothing he had seen
before.Looking up at the treasure that lay before him, he realized that he had found the very heart of the gods.
He had faced their judgement & won.He had accomplished what no one else had & he felt an overwhelming sense
of joy & fulfillment at what he had done.This was truly the day that Sanba had become a man.

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