Last week the web was filled with reports of the incident in which Ian Khama was attacked by a Cheetah at the army barracks. Many people wondered why. And today I bring to you–the cheetah’s side of the story.
It was a full moon the night I was born. At least that’s what my mother always told me. There had been two of us at the time – she used to say – a girl cub and I. But only I survived.
She always used to get quite distraught when she described the night they took her away. And even thinking about it now takes me back to the night when she told me about it.
I must have been about six or so months because I’d been working on the same piece of gazelle meat for hours. I think my teeth weren’t fully formed yet.
I remember that the planes were lit by a big orange moon. The dew on the tall grass sparkled so brightly it looked like the stars had fallen from the sky and taken permanent residence in the Kalahari.
It must have been the full moon that reminded her, because my mother got this distant look in her eyes and remained silent for a long time. She didn’t even touch the gazelle meat in front of her.
I let her stay silent for some time. Mainly because I was focused on scratching at the meat with my new teeth. But soon I grew bored of that and growled “Mummy, what’s wrong?”
“Have I ever told you about your sister?” She growled back. When I shook my head she began to paint a picture so deeply painful all I could do was cry along with her.
That is the day I lost my innocence. No longer a cub I found my heart fill with one unshakable desire – vengeance. I swore that day that I would seek the creatures that destroyed my family. I would hurt the lion tribe as much as they hurt me.
I spent years planning my revenge and sharpening my hunting skills. But it was my mother’s death at the hands of hunters that removed all traces of remorse from my soil. One day I was whisked away to the heart of the enemy.
I woke up in a cage in the training camp for hunters very far from my beloved only home. But it was fine. With no sister and no mother I was as good as homeless. Wherever my vengeance could be found would be my home.
And one day I got a tip from the old cheatah I had found on the cage next to mine. Through broken teeth the old big cat had told me that what the people of this land called “Tautona” – meaning king of the lions would be visiting soon. He went on to tell me how cruel the Lion King was to our kind. That he wore the skin of our cousin – the leopard around his neck like a medal. He spat in disgust as he said this.
It was then that I knew – that this day would be the day that I had been waiting for my whole life. This was the day when I would hurt not just a lion – but the king of the lions – and the king of the hunters.
Today was the day I would strike back.
– Cheetah X