Thursday, June 11, 2009


PERHAPS it was mentioned before. It does not matter, the name was coined by yours truly while
working for the Criminal Justice Agency in Manhattan, among many islanders, too many, of those
islands where other languages than Spanish is spoken. The dull, dirty, smelly working space in a jail, One Police Plaza, was made worse by the pain in the ass, arrogant fools... Some readers may have noticed that I tilt toward humility most of the time. At any rate. The original anglospanoreview was a typed magazine lasting for tree issues. From the first edition of 1990, here is Bwana Katunga, an environmental story with African animals and atmosphere exactly
as it appeared then. Some critical readers will notice a little difference in style and storytelling.
Is not original. I am really sorry I can not find the reference, author or whatever. I hope you
will enjoy it as I still do. Other issues from the archives will appear for your eyes only. Stay tuned.

he was a hunter; well respected by everyone. for twenty years he had been hunting in this torrid african region. all the animals loved him, thanks to his poor aiming skills with rifles, and other hunting weapons. the natives, with just cause, gave him
the rank of katunga, or muzzle. evidently, the hunter was not aware of the real meaning of his aboriginal last name and was very proud of it.

one day, many moons ago, bwana katunga, also known a heineken katunga, because of his fondness for imported beer, was hunting in land where the white men had never set up foot. trucks, jeeps, four wheel drive vehicles, yes, but foot never.
after a long while shooting at different prey, unable to hit any, our hero was getting
ready to return to the encampment, when suddenly, he heard a deep groan. as a result of his many years in the jungle, he recognized it as the desperate cry of a deer that had fell in a trap.

as it happened often, his ability to distinguish the noise of each animal, did not
dissapoint him. when he got closer to the point where the groan was coming from,
thinking it was a deer, he discovered to his amazement, that it was an elephant. katunga was capable to confuse a groan of a lion with the warbling of a mockingbird
at a distance of two meters. the multiple scars on his body were evidence of this.
getting closer, our hero observed that the elephant had an enormous scar on his
left ear and his cries were caused by a gigantic thorn in his leg.

immediately, his hunter's instinct told him that he was in danger. but, once again,
he was mistaken. the pachyderm looked at him with pity and enormous tears came
running down his trunk. katunga had a good heart; using his hunter's knife, carefully, extracted the thorn. later, he searched in his first aid kit, that he carried
always for emergencies, for an elephant band aid. delicatelly, he wrapped the leg
and gave the elephant an alka seltzer the size of a trailer truck tire, falling asleep
peacefully for many hours after the effect. during the period of convalescence, katunga never rested. after some time, they separated and the elephant, happy
and healthy went galloping back to the jungle, crying out of happiness.

many, many moons after this, katunga lived days of misery, in rags. the hunter
was totally entangled; unable to move. he had been captured by aboriginal savages
into human sacrifices. firmly tied up to the ground, waiting for the roya elephant, adored by the aborigins, that would arrive at any time. guided by the witch doctor, the pachyderm would arrive to squash his head, as a part of the sacred ritual. when the time was up, the hunter saw the elephant getting closer, slowly, with his heavy
steps. he recognized him immediately; the deep scar in the elephant's ear. it was
him, the same one he had saved in the jungle!

in the precise intant when the elephant raised his leg to kill him, their eyes met.
there was a flash in the pachyderm eyes. the legendary and fabulous memory of
the animal will work again; in one second he remembered his benefactor. he
stopped, static, his leg on the air. the impossible was taking place. katunga,
the hunter, would be saved and the superstitious aborigins will not dare to bother
him again; believing it was a signal from their gods.

the elephant stayed frozen, to the astonishment of the aborigins. the tension was
intense, time seemed to have stopped. thoughts were spinning in katunga's mind,
thinking of his luck. with a fast and agile movement, the leg came squashing his
head. he did all this remembering perfectly who the hunter was.

moral of the story: the elephant has a prodigious memory, however, that does not stop him from being a son of a bitch.

carmen rolon
roland lapierre
julia santiago
martin anderson
from moons ago

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