Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting

Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting
April showers bring May flowers

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

⌗Atop Challenge, 14th April 2020, L is for Lion.

Welcome to my blog Life in Poetry.
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Welcome to the 2020 APRIL A to Z Challenge

if you would like to know more about the A to Z Challenge, founded 11 years ago by Arlee Bird at Tossing Out,  read here

for my theme revealed , go here on Blogger
On Wordpress, read here 

Q will be a day to answer all your questions on my novel in progress, so feel free to write them down in your comment, on any day till then. On the 20th April, I will compile all the questions and answer each one on my Q post.

My Twelfth extract will appear after E, Epiphany. Bartolomé is still in the native village of his grand-father, shortly after the funeral.

L is for Lion

Brief synopsis of plot and characters :

Mathilda, my first main character, is American and lives in New York City. She is a student at NYU where she is preparing a thesis on the origins and developments of African American Music. She is a first person narrator. Her timeframe is 2005. In my previous extracts, Mathilda has travelled to New Orleans, Jekyll Island and Hattiesburg.

Bartolomé, my second main character, is Cameroonian and lives in Yaoundé. He is a professor of Mathematics at the University there. I will be using a third-person narrator for this character from his Point of View. His timeframe is the early '90's. In my previous extracts, Bartolomé has made a trip up North for his grand-father's funeral and decided to leave Yaoundé behind for good.

L is for Lion

Bartolomé, stretched out on a natte under the baobab, was thinking about the elders' decision of last night. Next week, they would start to make the preparations for the ritual. Five boys would be united, as well as compete during this rite of passage. Much food, music and ceremonial dancing would be involved, Bartolomé knew.
He was transported back to his childhood when he had last witnessed such a gathering, although he had never taken part in the ritual. His coming of age had been a less traditional affair down in Douala.
He remembered the night before that particular ceremony though.

He had only been a boy then, no more than twelve. He was sharing the hut of his uncle and aunt with his parents and cousins, all asleep in two rooms. Curled up next to the central dying embers, Bartolomé had been wide awake from excitement. He gazed up through the smoke hole at the stars, the cold night air drifting down onto his face.
A slight rustle and a whisper of heavy throaty breathing caught his ear. First he thought it was his uncle, prone to snoring, then he listened again. It was unmistakable coming from outside. His curiosity peaked and fed up of staring into the darkness, he crept over to the door and lifted the blanket enough to slip out. He pricked his ears again and scrutinised the village circle. He heard it again, this time coming from a bush of dry juniper next to his grand-parents hut.
His eyes darted towards the sprigs of greenery and two yellow globes glinted off the moonlight. A nose protruded and the lioness growled softly at him, revealing her fangs.
Bartolomé fell silent and still, intently watching the eyes and the head. The lioness came forward, graceful shoulder-blades arching up, two at a time. She then began to skirt the front of the huts to her right away from the boy, nose to the ground, picking up the scent of potential prey. She slid behind the casa à palabres , advancing towards the pen.
Immediately a goat started to bleat and thump its' hooves. In seconds the whole enclosure was alive with a strident racket. Heads popped out of huts and then Uncle Ngaba rushed out, machete in hand,  and charged the lioness who was attempting to leap over the six-foot fence. The cat screeched, gave up, then sped into the brush, tail disappearing into the night.

Fifteen years later Bartolomé could still taste the blood seeping into his mouth when he bit his tongue at the sight of his uncle confronting the animal.
He could well imagine, today, what the boys would be feeling to their stomachs on the night before the ritual. On the Day, they would be asked to hunt down the pride's lion and kill it.

L'Enfant et le Lion, by Patrick Grandperret, 1993, trailer, watch here
Masaï Lion hunt and other tribal hunts, documentary, here

My photos, trip through Cameroon, Dec/Jan/1988/89.

Totem in village. Stone Sorcerer.
Sunset over the Nigerian Border

Traditional Danses from Kapsiki on Nigerian Border.

That car broke down in the middle of nowhere. So we spent the night 
on the dirt track ... and kept the fire going all night. Near the Nigerian Border.

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