By Stephanie Elaine Cavanaugh - http://stephaniecavanaugh.com
The sun was a fiery golden orb in a cloudless sky, heating the desert sand into a fierceness unlike anything she had experienced before; each grain burning into Misbah’s feet like tiny hot coals. A crow cawed in the distance, as if mocking Misbah’s discomfort, while she stepped tenderly with each foot, one after the other, wishing: if only she had shoes to protect her feet from the unrelenting burning sand. But shoes large enough to fit her enormous elephant feet would be hard to come by, and even if she found two pairs, she could never afford them.
She was filthy from yesterday’s mud bath, now dry and caked on her skin from the heat and sun. “How long does this god forsaken desert last?” she wondered, as she lay down on a large flat rock to give rest to her aching feet. Misbah drew rings in the sand with her trunk, contemplating her situation. She had escaped the cage of her captor just two days ago, aboard the traveling circus of Morocco. She hadn’t eaten since the small carrot the slave had given her hours before she’d made her escape. But she didn’t care about her rumbling belly; she was happy for her freedom. “I wish I had shoes,” she thought again. “Shoes would make this barren desert a little more bearable.” Misbah knew she must make the journey as quickly as possible to ensure her freedom; to ensure her survival.
Maybe it was the sun’s heat, playing a trick on her mind. She felt certain she could see a flower in the distance. A bright red rose. Suddenly, a memory came rushing in. It was as vivid and clear as if it had happened last night. There was the little girl who tended to the tiger, the night she found the tiger dead in his cage from exhaustion and abuse. The girl was crying, softly for fear of waking the guards. She placed a single red rose on the tiger’s corpse. Turning around to leave, she noticed Misbah watching her. “Oh my sweet Misbah,” she wept. “You must escape this place before it’s too late.”
About the Author:
Stephanie Elaine Cavanaugh - Hi, I'm Stephanie ... pleasure to become virtually acquainted. Please note the views and opinions communicated here are my own and not representative of any particular group or organization.
Interests, ever-evolving: Photography, painting, art, science, medicine, astronomy, yoga, travel, the world, culture, language, education, women's rights, human rights, making the world a kinder, more beautiful place.