Johari sat in the bright afternoon sun, leaning against the wall of glass. She felt warm and cosy, as the glass reflected the heat of the suns rays into her furry side. She was content in the moment, just listening to the gentle sounds around her and rubbing off the dirt on her soft, leather-like hands.
Bang, bang, bang!
Her eyes flicked to the side, but she refused to turn and look. The incessant banging to get her attention annoyed her. She considered moving away, but was comfortable there, so she continued to ignore it.
Bang, bang.....bang, bang!
She tried to let her mind wander, but being surrounded by walls and fences didn't exactly lend itself to a myriad of experiences. Instead she closed her eyes, and turned her face towards the sun. Shapes danced behind her closed lids, bringing to mind the stories of her ancestors that her mother used to tell her.
Johari's mother, Yuska, was also born in a zoo, but Yuska's grandmother had been born in the motherland. She had told Yuska tales of her life back then, and these same tales, Yuska had repeated to Johari.
The old ape had been very young when the men killed her family and took her, but she had remembered the sights and smells vividly, until the day she re-joined her descendants in the stars.
Johari had been told of the green everywhere, and the wet warmth that permeated every fibre of their being. The moist, clean air that reverberated with the calls of chimpanzees, and the sounds of the elephants stomping through the underbrush. They had spent their days munching on lush green leaves, and fruits and insects, and playing together when their appetite was spent. But occasionally, they would also smell the frighteningly, offensive smell of man, and have to flee their current playground, never knowing if they would all still be together when they were safe to stop.
Bang, bang, bang!
Jolted from her daydreaming, Johari turned to the little girl banging on the other side of the glass, flaring her nostrils in distaste. She stared at her for a moment, before leaning over, grabbing a handful of grass and rubbing it over her chest. She then slowly got up, and lumbered over to the other side of the enclosure for some peace, as it wouldn't be long before her keepers came to call her inside for the evening.
Linking in with A Mum in the Wild for Short Tale Tuesday