© copyright 2008 

     Back under cover of trees, Pax was completely ruffled at dashing off without asking if the hyenas had heard or seen anything of the animal. “Don't listen to those scavengers,” chirped a brightly plumed hornbill. “The Elephonkey's coat is soft and shimmering black, glistening like raven wings in the sun.”  
     Her friends, the babbler, and bulbul chimed in. “True . . . except it's dull, not shimmering,” cawed one. 
     “And sturdy, not soft,” clacked the other.
     Even as Pax scratched his head trying to sort out such descriptions, his tail wagged gleefully at the news. “You've seen it then! Can you tell me where it went? Or agree on its appearance? Everyone seems to have a different opinion on the matter.”
     Before any of the birds could answer, they took off, slapping the air and screeching with fear.
     Pax whirled around and caught sight of something slinking around in the tall grass. He poked around for awhile but could find nothing until dawn broke. Only then did he see it . . . or I should say, he stumbled over it.
     “Ouch! Do watch where you're s-s-stepping.” Sticking out of the tall savanna grass like a gnarly root was a . . . 
     “What?” It didn't look like anything Pax had ever seen in the wild. He bent down to have a closer look. It was shriveled and palid and—It twitched.
     “If it's-s-s that worthless-s-s Elephonkey you've all been s-s-squawking about, it went that way,” moaned a very withered looking snake, its wirey tongue unfurled in a southerly direction. Pax sprang backwards as a long writhing python slithered from the grass. “A s-s-sorry s-s-sight to s-s-see, isn't it?” 
     “Did he do that to you?” Pax wondered.