Trinity University Press

Jane Goodall-Delaney Laughlin

Poachers

Delaney Laughlin

    A large group of gorillas sat around a curving fruit vine. It was sweet and tangy just the way they liked it. Sama was the large silverback male of the group. His strong limbs usually made him intimidating to the hairless apes that came with the tubes of deathly sound, even though he was missing one of the digits on his hind leg.

    When he was a baby his mother had fallen into a very deep sleep because of the tube of deathly sound. The hairless apes took him out of the tree of which his mother had fallen. They put him in a small dark place with only three tiny holes on the side.

    Sama’s dark place was streaming very little light, so he could not see very well. Soon light stopped coming in. Sama guessed the big orange from the sky had been eaten again and a silver rock had been put in its place. He did not worry, though, it would grow back in the morning. It must taste very good, for every day somebody ate it. He would love to eat it.

    Suddenly, hands came in and grabbed him. He tried to escape, but the hands were too strong. He was lifted from his dark area to a small square thing with silver vines that were very strong circling it. He lay there trying to sleep, but couldn’t, not without his mother’s nest and now without his mother. The next day, when the orange in the sky was black, he was once again lifted from his area. This time he was not set down. He did not like this one bit. Then he bit the hairless ape, the ape screamed. Then the odd ape pulled out a pointy, shiny object, then. . . . BOOM!

    Suddenly back in the forest, Sama screamed for his family to run. He stood his ground. Sama looked ready and calm on the outside, but on the inside, his heart was pounding like the beat of a drum. With all his strength he charged for the hairless apes as he saw them turning a corner in the dense, lush plants of the forest. The hairless apes rose their tubes of deathly sound.

    Sama was on the ground, his lifeless eyes let the story of his past flow gently through the air. The hairless apes took hold of his cold feet and dragged him through the forest he would no longer be able to protect. As the bald apes dragged his body, Sama’s sould was rising with a red glow in his heart.

    Finally, Sama would be able to feed on the giant orange in the sky, with nectar squirting through his teeth marks. While watching his family with their silverback and still protecting them.                              

    Delaney Laughlin wrote this as a young Roots & Shoots member. She has since become a zoology student at Colorado State University and is working to end the abuse of animals in entertainment.