This page was first published on the 2nd of April, 2017 and last updated on the 2nd of April, 2017 by Patrick Carpen.
The following short story, entitled “A Narrow Escape” was submitted by 14 year old Errika Bezerra, a Grade 9 Student of CXC English at St. Ignatius Secondary School in Rupununi, Guyana, South America.
Have fun reading and enjoy!
I was born at the Georgetown Public Hospital Cooperation. I grew up at lot 14 Sachi Bazar Street, Parshad Nagar. My young life began under the watchful eyes of my loving parents. As a young girl growing up, my heart always filled with excitement and joy whenever my grandparents invited me to visit the Zoo. There I my eyes feasted on macaws, lions, jaguars, large anacondas, land and water turtles and the Mighty Harpy Eagle. On these visits, I was always warned by my grandfather about the dangers of feeding the birds and monkeys who always want a nut or a sweetie.
I was thirteen years of age when my grandparents moved back to Lethem to reside and I moved along with them. My grandparents are descendants of Amerindian tribes and as such they love moving from one area to another. Presently they have relocated to an area known as Mountain Point Road Junction. Here they are planning to build a small ranch. It was there on one of my visits that I first saw wild animals roaming the savannahs. Animals such as jaguar, fox and mountain dare. It was at mountain point road junction I first crossed paths with a wild animal: a mother anteater.
I had gone for a weekend visit at the Junction. Mountain Point Ranch house is nestled on low, swampy, grass lands. Lofty mountains to the north, the Sheriri mountain range to the west, to the south are hills and open savannahs rolling as far as the eyes can see. To the east are highly forested rock and gravel hills. Mikey, the ranch dog, was five years old and brown in color. He is mix-breed from the family of pit bulls. After helping in the kitchen, I would take Mikey for an afternoon walk. It was a cool breezy afternoon around 17:00 hours, when I walked out on the jeep road with Mikey. My grandfather saw that I was going out and warned me to be careful of rattle snakes which inhabit the immediate savannahs. After 10 minutes of strolling along the road, I noticed Mikey getting excited. He picked up a scent which led him towards the western direction. There were a clump of Kayambi trees, usually known as sand paper leaf tree. He ran and started barking at this point. I called on him to return to me, but my efforts were futile. The next thing I saw was a dark brown, hairy, long bushy tail with white stripes on the forelegs materializing from a clump of tall Dare Grass. It was heading towards me with Mikey at its side barking constantly.
There I was standing motionlessly in view of the now approaching animal. It was a mother anteater, she had a baby anteater clawed on her back, frightened by the continuous barking from Mikey. With terrifying eyes I saw the front paws of the animal curving into a boxing position towards my dog. I quickly realized that its powerful paws were trying to grab my dog. Just as it was about to attack, I let out a terrifying scream. The anteater stopped suddenly, raised it heads and looked at me, anger boiling in its eyes. As the anteater turned its attention towards me, I turned around and started to run. But, as fast as lightning, the animal was gaining grounds on me. Exhausted, at the end of my breath, I looked around for some sort of weapon to defend myself. I found a piece of wood geared and myself for the attack. I had no time to defend myself. Before I knew it, the deadly creature boxed me down. A pair of horrifying claws and eyes embraced me. I thought I was about to die. I tried to scream but no words escaped. At that moment I heard a loud “boom”. My mind went blank.
The next thing I heard was a voice saying “it’s gone, you’re safe.”
It was my grandfather’s consoling voice. He had narrowly snatched me from the long sharp claws of the now dead mother anteater.
We returned home and took dinner after my grandmother tucked me into bed. I was getting a high fever as I pass on to dreamland. After this incident my grandfather put up a sign saying “BEWARE OF WILD ANIMALS.”