The Sentinel

We sat in our Suzuki four-wheel drive, as rain drummed loud tattoo upon the roof. Between the seats our alpine stove cast off a bluish light, just holding dark at bay. Our one pot meal sat simmering when two bright eyes and large white teeth appeared from out the dark, up close against the window. A Masai youth with braided hair, in cloak, with spear, and water streaming down his face said he would stand on guard for us. For fifty shillings he would guard us through the night from lions roaming near the camp. We told him that we had no fear and he should shelter for the night, in warmth, at home. He could not leave this night he said because he had agreed to guard the other tents and so would guard us anyway. A rainless morning came, our Maasai guard returned, hung round his neck, a waterproof, bright yellow, Walkman tape machine. He hoped for payment for the night of standing guard. The incongruity of plaited hair, his cloak, his sandaled feet and spear against the modern Walkman so intrigued my partner that she asked to hear the music played. He offered headphones to her ear and from them country music came. In sign and mime they talked of music tastes and styles. She softened, paid him fifty shillings but what’s more she gave a tape of R.E.M.. We did not know if truly he had stood as sentinel all night but did not care, because his joy when gifted with the tape of music was so real. We smiled, delighted as he grinned and strode away.
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved

The Sentinel

We sat in our Suzuki four-wheel drive, as rain drummed loud tattoo upon the roof. Between the seats our alpine stove cast off a bluish light, just holding dark at bay. Our one pot meal sat simmering when two bright eyes and large white teeth appeared from out the dark, up close against the window. A Masai youth with braided hair, in cloak, with spear, and water streaming down his face said he would stand on guard for us. For fifty shillings he would guard us through the night from lions roaming near the camp. We told him that we had no fear and he should shelter for the night, in warmth, at home. He could not leave this night he said because he had agreed to guard the other tents and so would guard us anyway. A rainless morning came, our Maasai guard returned, hung round his neck, a waterproof, bright yellow, Walkman tape machine. He hoped for payment for the night of standing guard. The incongruity of plaited hair, his cloak, his sandaled feet and spear against the modern Walkman so intrigued my partner that she asked to hear the music played. He offered headphones to her ear and from them country music came. In sign and mime they talked of music tastes and styles. She softened, paid him fifty shillings but what’s more she gave a tape of R.E.M.. We did not know if truly he had stood as sentinel all night but did not care, because his joy when gifted with the tape of music was so real. We smiled, delighted as he grinned and strode away.
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved