This isn’t the first time I’ve been shot.
In my younger years, I was known as Kerchak. I feared by all, respected by many. The jungles of Africa were my home and I lived there with my wife, Kala, and child. That is, until my poor gorilla baby was savagely murdered and eaten by that bastard leopard, Sabor.
My wife tried to ease the hurt by bringing home another child for us to take care of, only this one was human. I was furious. Gorilla can’t raise humans. It’s not natural. You can’t just get another child to replace a dead one. It doesn’t work that way. We were now parents of a dead child and a human child.
My pain accumulated over the years. I couldn’t look at the human child, which we named Tarzan, without thinking of my baby. Nightmares consisting of a child screaming while being torn apart by a leopard kept me up most nights.
Then the humans came. Tarzan tried to be one of them but he was more of a gorilla than any of us knew. He fought for us when an evil hunter named Clayton tried to kill our family.
I was shot during the battle.
As I felt the life fading from my body, I finally called Tarzan my son. I let go of the hurt weighing me down. I no longer resented him for being raised by loving gorillas while my real child was slain. Then it all went black.
My sight returned to me as I was being led by men into a closed-in field. I was confused. They were calling me Harambe. I ran around testing the boundaries of my enclosure. There was no way out. I think they put something in my food because I did not feel like myself.
I went to the little river so I could splash some water on my face and think this thing through. As I pondered my future, I heard a familiar cry. There was a human child nearby. As I looked upon the face if the child, he kept fading from an unrecognizable boy to my son Tarzan and back again.
There were screams coming from all around. I looked up and saw other humans pointing with their mouths open. They wanted their child back. I need to protect him until they could get to him. I didn’t want any of the other gorillas to hurt him. They might harbor some anti-human feelings like I once did.
I ran over to him and picked him up. I tried to signal to the humans that I meant no harm. I think I failed. A man approached my enclosure and aimed a rifle at us. I was shocked. I was scared. They would rather kill this child than let me tale care of him!
He put his finger on the trigger as I clutched the child and tried to shield him. Nobody has to die today. Then I heard a loud BANG and it all went black again.
I hope the boy is safe.
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