This is a story of a family of hyenas living in the Namib desert and how they survived.
Namib desert is in Africa.
Orange sand dunes and Orange river. White salt deposits. Fascinating landscape. The vast Namib desert has Atlantic Ocean kissing it on the eastern side and the southern portion engulfed by the gigantic Kalahari Desert.
A mile or two away from the seashore on the Namib desert lies a ghost town. Big abandoned buildings where the local aborigines fear to go even in the daylight.
But in that ghost town there lived a family. Father, mother and their three kids. They didn’t have any neighbors and hence the kids only had themselves to play with each other. They were a triplet and so they all were of same age. Parents tried hard to get some food for them. They struggled all day to get at least something. The area being a desert it was not a very easy task. Sometimes the kids were with their mum all day when the father went to find some food and sometimes, they were with their father when their mother went to out to get some food. They were a family of hyenas. So, they had to hunt to get the food. Hunting is not easy in a desert. Vast open areas hardly inhabited by living beings and even lesser to hunt and eat. It was a struggle every day to get something to eat and feed the baby hyenas.
One day the weather was nice in the morning. Warm and sunny. It was a winter day, so the previous night had been killing. The chilly wind had almost frozen them. The kids were happy to see the morning sun. They started playing outside the house where they stayed. The father went out to get some food. He was hungry and so were his kids and wife. It was afternoon but the father wasn’t back. The kids became restless. They were very hungry now. Their mother became tensed. Her husband should have been back by now. The sun was set. He didn’t return. The day passed but he didn’t return. They waited for two days. But there was no trace of the father. They lost all hope. He must have been killed somewhere someway in the big desolate desert. There is no way they can find out. The place in any case was dangerous. They were alerted by many before they set out for this place. It seems they have started facing the wrath of the dead. Father didn’t return. The ghost town has started taking its toll on them.
The next day the mother left in the morning. She had to go. Her children were starving. She knew she might not return like her husband. But she had no other option. She thought of going near the seashore.
The Atlantic Ocean swept the beach which was just a mile away from the ghost town. The morning on the seashore saw cape fur seals coming and resting on the beach. They came in huge numbers and left when the desert started to get warm. They had pups as well with them. The pups were fifteen pounds balls of blubber and unsuited to desert life. They played all day on the beach and retreated to sea with their family.
The mother hyena went near the seashore and spotted the youngest pup from the distance. But a blacked back jackal was ahead of her. So, she waited behind a rock. The jackal approached the pup. But the pup had its mother as formidable bodyguard protecting it from the predators. The mother seal scared the jackal away. Losing hope the jackal left the spot. But the mother hyena was still waiting. She had starving children at home.
As the seashore heated up the bodyguards retreated to the sea. The youngest pup couldn’t keep up with the pace of the elder seals and was left behind on the seashore alone and now unprotected. Armed with sharp teeth even pups can put up a brave fight. The mother hyena waited until the sun took its toll on the pup. Disoriented by punishing heat pup strayed into the desert. It started squeaking and crying alone. Now she timed her hunt to perfection and attacked the pup. The pup tried to protect itself and tried to fight back but alas! It was killed by a mother who had to feed her children.
The mother came back to her children with the meal. The children started having dinner as soon as she reached. They were starving and would have starved to death if they didn’t have food even on that day. The mother was at peace then and it was time to relax after the long day. The ghost town became quiet at night. The children were asleep and so was the mother. After few hours again a new day would start and a new day of struggle. The struggle for existence. The children lost their father in the process. They would become father to new hyenas in days to come. They would learn to hunt from their mother so that when they grow up, they can provide food for their children like their mother did for them.