Looking for an exotic pet.
|Zeke was heading into no man’s land. As a poacher supplying the tourist trade with rare birds and exotic animals, he now must go deeper into the wild.
No man’s land, Zeke knew, was a section of wilderness rarely visited. Of those who had entered, very few had returned. Those who survived, tell tales of strange creatures, and giant aboriginals with red coppery skin.
Zeke believed none of it. The fevered ramblings of those dolts who ventured far afield, ill prepared for the bush, were of little concern to him. He had been twenty years trekking the jungles, supplying the market with monkey skulls, gorilla hands, and Rhino horn. He feared nothing.
One last trek and he would stop. Maybe retire over on the coast. He’d contracted to acquire a rare monkey, return, and deliver it alive to an American pop star who would keep it as an exotic pet.
“One last big score” he thought. Then it’s sun, sand, palm trees, and Margarita’s.
It took him 20 days, hiking little known trails to get to the edge of no man’s land. Leaving his porters behind with supplies, he gave instructions to wait 30 days for his return. After that, they could leave without him.
Ten days inside he spied his quarry. A brightly colored, male, ring-tailed Marmatouche monkey. Raising the Tranq gun to his shoulder he sighted on the creature.
Owww. A sting jolted him. Durned mosquitos. He broke sight, and slapped at his neck. Something feathered and hard. Like a…dart. His vision faded as he slumped in a heap to the jungle floor.
As he awoke, naked and bruised, he began looking around. He determined he was in a hanging cage made with stout branches and rough twine. Two giant red faces gazed at him with awe.
“Wonder what it eats?”