It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last.
Mum knew it but, fortunately, he didn’t. He just held on tight because Mum had told him to. His little eyes were wide open although he really couldn’t focus on much with Mum moving so fast.
With eyes radiating innocence and clumps of red hair standing on end, the little tyke was the most adorable thing ever. He was the youngest in his family and his mother and aunts doted on him. He was still considered young but he knew he would soon be permitted to play with his cousins. They were always calling out to each other and playing games.
Except now the calls didn’t sound so encouraging. In fact, these cries were drastically different and they scared him. And it wasn’t just his family causing the racket. Birds were screeching loudly as well and taking to the sky en masse. Those loud bangs were scary too. He didn’t like seeing his oldest aunt fall face down after that first bang.
Was she playing a game? If she was, he didn’t like this one.
But Mum knew this wasn’t a game. She’d grown up listening to stories of them – those legendary two-legged monsters and their hurt-inducing black instruments. She’d never seen them herself but many of her sisters had warned her about them. She’d heard that the instruments were loud, and emitted something sharp and fast that could pierce the body. She’d been warned that those monsters especially liked to attack new mothers and steal their babies.
Mum’s mind was abuzz with these thoughts and warnings but she didn’t let it slow her down. Her son’s life and her own depended on her successful escape.
This orangutan mother was not going to let humans and their guns win the battle – not this time!
*Note: Orangutans are considered critically endangered because of deforestation and many other similar human errors – one of them being the murder of mother orangutans so their infants can be sold as pets.
(Discover Challenge: Opening Line)