A Bitter Experience

By Daily Graphic

'How are you feeling today?' The doctor asked and it was then that I realised I was lying on a hospital bed and had been there for the past three days. I could not recall how I got there, but here was I with bruises all over my body.

It was a bitter experience for me. It all started when I planned with my two friends, Agnes and Emma to go to the game reserve which was in the next town. It was believed that the reserve was a habitat for Africa's most beautiful and rare animals.

There were also wild animals, for that reason, people were not allowed to go there except on special occasions.

In spite of the ban, however, people went to the reserve using other unauthorised routes.

Some of these recalcitrant people included, hunters and children. Some of my schoolmates who had been to the reserve before said very beautiful things about the place and it was out of curiosity, therefore, that I decided to go there with Emma and Agnes.

All my efforts to convince my parents proved futile, so I went there without their consent. At exactly 10am that fateful day when my parents were not around, I went to meet Agnes and Emma.

They were already waiting when I arrived and had come fully prepared with food and water. Agnes even managed to bring her father's camera without his knowledge so that we could take pictures of some of the beautiful animals.

When we got to the reserve, I realised that the beautiful things I heard my friends say about the place was so real. Indeed, the reserve and the animals which we saw were far more beautiful than I had even envisioned.

We later broke up with each going her separate way because we wanted to have a wider experience and knowledge about the place.

At first, I was not afraid because the sun was up and the whole forest was bright, but as the minutes turned into hours and the afternoon made way for the evening I became scared. I became more scared when I neither heard nor saw any sign of my pals.

I turned and started tracing my way back but I couldn’t. I walked all directions but still could not find my way. I was restless and nervous because the sun was setting and the forest was getting dark.

There was no light except the dim light created by a flashlight Agnes gave me. I noticed a beam of light breaking the darkness at another side of the forest. I hurried along the path created by the light.

I thought it was a way out, unfortunately, it was not. I was very scared since every step I took, sent me deeper into the forest and there was no sign of any human activity.

Lost in the forest, I decided to whistle with the hope that whoever heard me would trace me. I whistled many times but no response came.

By that time, night had set in. I was very tired so I decided to take a rest under a big tree but just when I sat down, I saw a very huge snake and from what I had learnt in school, it might be the type called the python.

Though I did not know how to climb trees, I quickly managed to climb to the top of the tree but unfortunately, one of the branches that I leaned on for support was weak, so I came crashing onto the ground.

That was all I could remember until I woke up three days later at the hospital. It was there that I learnt, Agnes and Emma went to the town to report that I was lost in the forest. A search party was dispatched to the reserve.

They were attracted to the spot they found me through the continuos whistles I blew and later by the sound of my fall.

With embarrassment written all over me, I looked at my parents in the face and the expression there said it all, they were disappointed in me.

I vowed never to disobey my parents again and also never to go anywhere without their consent.