Monday, February 17, 2014

Punda Muuaji

Killer donkeys!  Blind hairless rabbits!  Ghost giraffes!  Degenerate corrupt cops!  Monster explosions!

I’m excited.  

There is a new movie coming out worldwide that is based on a story from Naivasha!  It’s called Punda Muuaji, “The Killer Donkeys.”  Check out the screenplay below.
Punda Muuaji, —based on a true story. Rated PG-13.

Punda, an old, solitary female donkey, wanders the premises at a local boy’s shelter.   In her youth, Punda was a strong, stubborn, stoic worker who hauled carts of goods from town to the shelter.  Unlike most of her friends, Punda was rarely beaten, and she lived happily amongst the boys.  However, Punda’s dream was to have children.  Despite being popular with male suitors, Punda never became pregnant.  As the years passed, the suitors stopped calling, and the geese, cows and blind hairless rabbits (spoiler alert!) all thought Punda’s dream was over.

However, one day, to the astonishment of all, Punda’s belly began to grow.  And grow.  And grow.  One dark, stormy night, at the stroke of midnight, Punda gave birth to twin jacks, or boys, with burning red eyes.  She named one Michael and the other Myers, and the terror began soon after.  Michael laid misery upon his fellow animals, while Myers focused his terror on the boys.  Michael began by breaking into the rabbit dens to steal rabbits.  At night, the boys cringed at the sounds of the frantic geese, as Michael sinisterly hounded them. Next were the cows, who desperately tried to protect their calves from one of Michael’s deadly kicks.  Inspired by his brother, Myers began tormenting the boys.  Myers chased the boys between classes, attacking from dark corners snapping at the boys as they sprinted by.  Many boys would seek refuge in the barracks at night with fresh bite marks or bruises from Myers’s attacks.

What prompted these attacks?  Why were these brothers so menacing?  Who was their father?    

The animals were the first to respond.  Ng'ombe, the leader of the cows, devised a plan to end Michael’s terror for good.  As Michael began his nightly ambush of the geese, three brave mama geese led Michael towards the back of the rabbit hutch.  As Michael hurled himself around the corner, Ng’ombe sprang forward and drove his two-foot horn into Michael’s neck.  Michael fell to the ground, his burning red eyes simmering to blackness.

The boys awoke to a piercing shriek, one they had never heard before.  The oldest boys rushed out into night see to Myers lunging on his back legs over the body of his brother.  In fit of rage, Myers kicked down the chicken coop door and galloped through the back fence of the compound, racing up the adjacent mountain into the night. The boys followed the sound of his hoof beats, but Myers had disappeared.  As the stunned boys stumbled back to the barracks, they found that Michael’s body was gone. 

Myers never returned to shelter, but there were stories.  Young boys awoke screaming at night, claiming they saw two burning red eyes in the window.  Two cats wandered up the mountain one evening never to be heard from again.  There were reports of sheep disappearing from flocks that occasionally grazed on the mountain.  Strangely, no chickens survived in the chicken coop ever again.

Punda spent the rest her days retired and alone.  She never had any more children. She grazed and sauntered around the outskirts of the shelter.  At night, the boys could see her standing alone near the rabbit hutch, her eyes gazing upward toward the mountain beyond the shelter.  Every once in a while, the oldest boys would swear there were two faint red eyes staring back.  

This may or may not be Myers with one of the boys.
The geese, living in luxury now that Micheal's gone.
[Editor’s note:  There actually is one loner donkey at the shelter who had two mean sons that the boys called “Killer Donkeys!”  One was killed by a cow, and the other ran off up into the mountain.  That donkey would bite and often chase the boys.]

One day after my level 7 class, one of my students, Julius asked me to help him with something.  He brought me to the rabbit hutch where I discovered Michael's dead bod...kidding kidding.  I discovered newborn baby bunnies!  There were 8 blind, hairless, hungry, 4-day-old bunnies.  Unfortunately, the mother was refusing to feed them, and four had already died.  Julius was now taking drastic measures.  As he collected the newborns, he told me to grab Mom and hold her upside down on the ground.  Wait, what?  After some corralling, I was able to take Mom out of her den, but she was kicking and thrashing, and she did not seem too excited to be held upside down on the ground.  Luckily, I called to little Jomo who was walking by, and he helped.  He grabbed Mom’s ears, I grabbed her front and back legs, and we were able to pin her down on her side.  Julius then laid the little newborns on top of her, and they began to nurse.  We let them nurse for around 15 minutes, before Mom kicked me in the head, and I let her back in her den.  How would I describe this experience?  Outstanding.

Does this cure giardia?
Nights sometimes become pretty hazy in Naivasha, making it difficult to see alongside the road.  I was driving home on Saturday night, and I arrived at a t-intersection I have driven through a hundred times.  As I was turning left, this massive giraffe appeared right next to the road for two seconds before vanishing into the mist.  It was awesome.  Ghost giraffe….

Alrighty, I’m getting a bit tired, so we’re saving my latest corruption experience for another week.

Monster explosions!  This can be short.  Eric's my little monster.  Eric recently was cured of giardia.  How would I describe this experience?  Explosive.  

I took a walk through the Naivasha Animal Reserve.  I think this is my favorite place in Kenya.  I was the only person walking around the entire reserve.  Below is some of what I saw.

The animals all look at me.  We're best frien...I mean BFF's. 

I could not find the giraffes anywhere!  I traveled past the umbrella tree into uncharted territory towards the lake...
...and I found them.

Mom, protecting her baby behind her.
I thought this tree kinda looked like me.
Cute Eric pictures!

Mommy has no idea where I am.
She still has no idea.
Here I am!
Thanks to my recent guest blogger extraordinaire.  See you next week!


  1. You had me scared! But the ending (pic of Grandson) made me go ahhhhhhhhhhhh! He is a little boy instead of a baby now. It is a very good picture of a happy healthy young man. thanks for the story, the pictures, and your time. Miss you guys,
    Dad Gulotta

    1. Ha, thanks Dad! Eric is looking forwards to future visits with you.

  2. I loved the story (Punda!), the amazing pictures, not the giardia! So wonderful to read about your experiences with all the animals - donkeys, rabbits, ghost giraffes. It seems we have a story teller in the family - perhaps a future author of a children's book? The natural beauty of Africa is so wonderful to see through the lens of your camera. But, still not thrilled with your saunters into "uncharted territory" - water buffalo - dangerous - beware! Love to all of you, Mom

    1. Ha, HI MOM! We love all your little "Mom" warnings on your comments. Camille and I were just laughing about the "don't bring the spiders home to Massachusetts" comment. And don't worry, I am am an exceptionally safe saunterer :).