The kind and generous splendor of nature was overwhelming. I could only hum to express my gratitude for the endless beauty of nature bestowed on me, realizing it was a blessing beyond the ability of words to express. Golden rays of sunlight caressed my tanned skin and the energy they contained saturated my being. The rustle of the leaves and the sound of the ocean rushing into the shore provided the rhythm for the flamboyant a capella of the birds. Saline air filled my lungs and cleansed each and every impurity from my breath. This was my world; I was unaware of anything else, but felt the universe in my veins.
I was walking aimlessly over the beach, enjoying every instant of being there. The soft, hot sand caressed the soles of my feet as I saw in the distance the place where the river and ocean met, where the great spirits of fresh and salty waters exchanged respect and admiration. Their encounter was exuberant and playful, in spite of the fact that it was older than mankind and any other kind of life on this planet. With my head held high to absorb every trace of light I was able to catch, I ambled toward their reunion.
My eye was caught by a beautiful old tree that was basking in the light like me. The tree saw me too and beckoned me to come visit it by sending me a gorgeously intoxicating fragrance. I was unable to refuse its invitation and increased the speed of my journey to show my respect for this ancient dweller of the shore. I slowly caressed its rugged bark to greet it. My eyes were drawn by its beautiful shape that no human soul could have invented. I was about to climb the tree when a high pitch chirp of a bird in the top of the tree captured my attention. When looking upward, I saw a tiny green snake descend the trunk. I stepped back and gave the snake the right of way and climbed into the tree after it had disappeared in the shrubs.
From a branch high in the tree I could see the river delta where it blended with the great ocean. The riverbanks consisted of a narrow area of dark, moist sand, bordered by abundant foliage protected by the shadows of tall trees that grew right behind it. I loved playing on those dark shores that offered coolness and sand that would allow me to mold it into almost every shape my mind was able to conceive. It looked very different from the pure white sand on the beaches that slipped through my fingers to be washed away by the ocean water or reflect the rays of the sun. I squatted for a long time on the branch pondering sand and other matters that occupied the mind of a young boy.
Ruminations ended after I spotted a troop of wild boars appearing on the river bank. It consisted of a large sow and many piggies that crisscrossed the sandy strip like children running in the yard of kindergarten. I enjoyed watching their games, but I was glad I sat in the tree because I knew wild boars were stronger than a horse and a lot less patient, especially when they recently had offspring. Suddenly the sow chased her spawn into the shrubs and stood like frozen on the dark sand. She was alert and ready to fight. She began patrolling the waterline, casting a look at the shrubs at regular intervals.
When she stopped, like a bolt of thunder from a clear blue sky a gigantic crocodile launched itself from the water and grabbed the boar with its killer jaws. The sound of the boar’s death shrieks drilled into my marrow. A chill spread through me like an electric current as I watched the boar battle for her life, briefly surfacing and choking in screams from time to time in a whirlpool of foam and blood. After the water calmed, her blood was washed away toward the ocean. The creatures in the forest were silent, paralyzed after witnessing the croc’s treacherous and brutal attack. Events occurring in this place and time had taken a twist that defied the reason of most. The sun had almost set before I was able to move again. The birds now sang a requiem.
I descended from the tree and thanked it for persuading me to come over or I would perhaps have been killed instead of the boar. I walked home unable to take my mind of the event that had burned its way into my memory. That night I was too excited to sleep and early the next day I dashed back to the tree following the foot prints I left in the sand the previous day. I ran so fast that my heart beat in my throat. Grasping for breath I arrived at the spot from where I had seen the horror take place. Only to find that the tree was not there.