Bedtime Stories in English - Gombe The Hunter

 Gombe The Hunter

One day when the sun was high in the sky some ducks floated placidly on a lovely cool lake. The sky was blue and the lake was calm. All around were green trees, bushes, thick foliage, and flowers. These ducks were happy but little did they realize that danger was lurking just behind the bushes. Yes, from behind the bushes, suddenly, the barrel of a gun appeared. Holding this gun was none other than Gombe, the hunter. Now when Gombe saw these ducks on the lake he clucked his tongue happily and said to himself, "Aha, what have we here! Not one but thirteen ducks and all so plump! I am in luck. All I need to do is take aim and, well, let me see how many of them I can bag!." So, that is exactly what he did. 

Now I know you will say that with the first shot fired and the first duck hit, the remaining twelve ducks must have got away to safety! But, alas for the ducks, it seemed the bullet that sped out of Gombe's gun took a zig-zag path and hit all the ducks one after the other. At the end of its path, the bullet traveled to the opposite side of the lake, on the banks of which was a wild boar minding its own business. The bullet hit the boar and it swooned with a sharp cry. Gombe heard the cry and ran across to see what he had hit. To his surprise, it was a big and wild boar. Gombe couldn't believe his luck. Just imagine, he said to himself, one bullet and such a huge haul, thirteen ducks and one boar. He tied up the legs of the ducks and made the knots of the rope quite secure. He took the other end of the rope and tied it around himself so that there would be no mishap on the way. Needless to say, he was very pleased with his good fortune. He then decided to tie the boar to the string of ducks. Suddenly his foot slipped into the marshy bank and he fell upside down into the lake. He fell with a big plop and, in the hurry, he let go the boar that, to his great surprise, ran away. He had no time to lament the loss of the boar as he was trying to climb to the bank of the lake. But all the while, when he was not paying any attention at all to them, the ducks recovered from their swoon and took flight. They had been only temporarily dazed by the sound of Gombe's shot and as they took wing, Gombe was pulled out of the lake. The ducks flew in formation and went higher and higher, Gombe hanging on to the rope. There was nothing Gombe could now do but hang on and hope that the ducks would not lower him into any unpleasant surroundings.

They flew over mountains and valleys, lakes and rivers until the sky became dark and a big golden moon rose on the horizon. They flew over a village where the people were celebrating a festival and the fireworks made pretty designs in the sky. The ducks wanted to let Gombe have the full benefit of the fireworks and flew close to the village. The sparks flew high and burst into Gombe's clothes. "Help! Help!" he screamed to the ducks. "Fly higher, dear ducks! Otherwise, those sparks will burn my clothes." So they took him over the sea to cool off and spotted a whale that was blowing water into the air. The ducks thought it would be a good idea to give Gombe a cold bath and drew him into the path of the whale's spout. "Help! Help!" begged Gombe to the ducks, "I am freezing. The water is so cold." "There's nothing that would please this man!" grumbled the ducks and they flew on until the darkness of the night completely enveloped them. But Gombe could not sleep. The hours dragged on and then came the dawn. At the first light of the dawn, Gombe felt the pangs of hunger. He hadn't eaten for a whole day. He looked at his stomach. The rope around his stomach seemed to loosen and he felt his hollow stomach with his hand. As he patted his stomach, his other hand slipped and he fell through the rope. The ducks were freed. They flew away happily. But what happened to Gombe? He took a long time coming down to earth and the peasants who were out on their fields that morning thought they saw a queer bird making a dive towards the earth.

Finally, he fell on the tower of the temple in a village. The villagers and people from the nearby town gathered around the temple as word passed from mouth to mouth and saw Gombe sitting high atop the tower. He was quite cross with himself by now and lit a cigar, puffing on it angrily, pretending he didn't care for what happened. "What are you doing there?" asked the people below. "Oh, the morning was so fine and I wanted to see the tops of the mountains and lakes, so I climbed up." "Well, why don't you climb down then?" they asked. "I will jump down if you will bring me some bedsheets," replied Gombe. The people knew that he was pulling their leg and that he had got caught up in the tower. But, being kind-hearted, they brought out their bedsheets and held them out for Gombe to jump. Now Gombe was terrified of the height. So he closed his eyes and took a leap and landed safely on the ground. Gombe didn't dare to look at a duck in the face for a long, long time.  

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