Episode 2 – Hero of The Forest
Hero of The Forest
illustration: GEE, geepole.com
“A long time ago, we used to live with all the other animals. We were a part of the community. You know the other animals live in two categories, the harmful one and those that are not so harmful. The barrier is to keep each and every animal safe. We used to live with the harmless animals. We lived happily together until we started to stink. We used to be clean and sweet smelling but then, one of us went to the animals’ pit where all the bad and rotting things were dumped. He fell into the hole and we all had to pull him out. We pulled but eventually, we all fell in too and we stayed there for a long time before anyone noticed we were gone. When we were finally pulled out, we stank so bad that we couldn’t live with the other animals anymore, so now we live alone.”
Ella, the oldest warthog told this story over a fire. They were all sitting around it listening to her when Walt, the clumsy warthog tipped over the fire as he was playing. Walt had the tendency of knocking over things. He never did it intentionally. He was a good soul but he was disliked because of this behavior. The place where they lived caught fire. Luckily, the warthogs acted quickly and swiftly. They put out the fire immediately before it could damage any part of where they lived.
When the fire was finally out, Kintu, the leader of the warthogs turned to Walt. “This is the third time this month; I cannot have you stay with us anymore. You are a risk that we have to avoid.” He looked at the other warthogs. “Whoever supports the banishment of Walt, raise your hand now.” The other warthogs looked at each other. One by one they raised their hands. Walt’s mother ran to him. He looked at Kintu with pleading eyes.
“Please, not my son. I will teach him well, show him the right way please.” Kintu ignored her cries.
“Its okay mom, they are right. If I stay here I will only make things worse for all of us. Let me leave and maybe one day I will come back.” said Walt. With that, he walked away. Into the night for a very long time.
Walt walked a very long distance before he finally saw a hut. He was tired, hungry and thirsty so he decided to go knock on the door. he weakly called for the owner. Jonathan the rabbit opened the door to find a passed out warthog on his mat. He rushed for Jeremy to come help. They carried him inside, bathed him and let him lay to sleep. When Walt finally came to, he found himself on a bed. He looked around and at first was afraid. Suddenly, Jonathan came in with a plate full of fruits from his garden and gave it to him. Walt ate hungrily.
“Thank you good sir’ I don’t know how to repay you.” Said Walt. Jonathan looked at him with a smile and helped him sit up.
“what is your name? what happened to you?” asked Jonathan.
Walt told Jonathan about what had happened to him. About his banishment from the other warthogs and how they came to live out alone.
“but you don’t smell badly, I fail to understand what exactly went on.” Jonathan remarked.
“I am a clumsy fellow though. And I do smell whenever I haven’t bathed for a long time. We need a place with a lot of water. How I would love to help my clan.”
Jonathan looked at him with pity. He was big and looked strong but had a lot of negativity in him. He wanted to help him so bad but didn’t know how to.
“You can live with me for as long as you need. And if what you are saying is true, then you may have a little problem fitting in. but don’t worry.”
Just then, Jeremy walked in hurriedly. He was running so fast that he was out of breathe. “The…the…the…the liii…lions are here. Every animal is hiding and the others are terrified. We have to help somehow.”
Jonathan looked at Jeremy. They did not know what to do. Just then the whole forest went silent. Walt the warthog rose from the bed. He smiled at the two and said, “Why don’t we trap them? Take them to the hole where we once fell?”
“But the hole is sealed,” cried Jeremy.
“You two go open it up; I will lead the lions to the hole.”
Jeremy and Jonathan went to the pit. They opened the hole and waited patiently.
Walt ran to the other animals. “Don’t worry, your hero is here!” he shouted.
Every animal laughed including the lions. “What are you going to do stinky?” they mocked.
Walt was afraid at first but then gained his courage back. “Come on! Come see what I can do.” The animals hide themselves tightly. Some began to cry as others prayed. The lions started to chase after the warthog. They ran until he finally reached the hole. Jeremy and Jonathan looked at him from their hiding place. Some animals came out of their hiding places to watch cautiously. The lions looked at the warthog laughing and smiling. Just then Walt looked at the hole and ran as fast as he could. He jumped over the hole. The lions didn’t see the hole; they all jumped into the stink. They were trapped there. Jeremy and Jonathan sealed the hole and started clapping. The other animals joined in the cheer. Everyone was happy. Walt then looked at the crowd.
“We are not bad people, we may stink but it is not due to the smell from the hole, it is from the rejection we got. Please accept us back, that is all I ask for.” The other animals looked at each other. They started nodding silently. Just then, Walt’s mother walked in with some of the clan. She ran to her son and hugged him. Kintu was also with her.
“I am sorry for the way I treated you. I have surely learnt my lesson; I will never judge someone for how they are. You surely saved all of us.” he said. With that, the warthogs moved back in and they all lived together in harmony.