Letters of Life

The Secret of the Serengeti

The title could possibly belong to a book of my youth because on clear days, you could see forever.

The name ‘serengeti’ — the sound like a syncopated beat of an African drum — means endless plains in the Masaai language and this beautiful word peppered stories like Willard Price’s Adventure Series (Safari Adventure, Elephant Adventure, African Adventure, Lion Adventure, all of which I’d read). And who can forget the American band Toto’s number one hit,  Africa?

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what’s right
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti . . . 

(That last line is a stroke of songwriting genius).

And so the Serengeti was always a storybook land, an unimaginable universe where the animals of my childish books wandered harmless and toylike, twirling above a cot on a hot and sleepy afternoon to the tinkling of a music box.

To go there is to arrive at what I think must be that first Paradise, God’s Eden, God’s first Earth, with His creatures great and wild.


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