Excerpt for Stories from Maasai Land by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

To my father Samuel Munke Ole Mpaayei (Ole Nkite’ng Keri) a firm, caring and compassionate father. To me you will always be the greatest dad that ever lived.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: The Giant Warrior from Kunyele

Chapter Two: The Hunter Becomes the Hunted

Chapter Three: The Mysterious Hole in the Plain

Chapter Four: Malaso and the Monster

Chapter Five: Tuta Goes Missing in Battle

Chapter Six: Lenkume the Notorious Outlaw

Chapter Seven: Can the Feathery Give Birth to The Hairy?

Chapter One: The Giant Warrior From Kunyele

The Maasai lived in the Loita plains herding their large herds of Livestock and enjoyed living in a beautiful land. The big plains had abundant pasture for their animals and the water streams had crystal clean water sufficient for both human and livestock consumption.

When it became hot in the plains the livestock moved to shelter in the shade of the big trees near the forests as the wind blew a soft breeze from the hills. Both the people and the livestock were very happy as they could get all that they needed.

The nearby Naimina enkiyo forest provided wild berries for people to eat and rare medicinal tree herbs which their expert medicine men used to treat different types of ailments.

The children enjoyed collecting sweet wild fruits in the forest which they looked for as they played together. They would share and eat together all that they got which made them very happy.

Dead tree branches in the forest provided firewood that the women collected and used to light fires in their houses. They would cook food for their families and warm their houses at night with fire that they made from the fire wood to keep their children warm. The countryside looked beautiful as man and beast lived happily together in harmony.

There was however one big problem, for just across the ridges in Kunyele lived a big giant warrior. This monster terrorized the people around the villages and the community lived in perpetual fear of him.

Mutarin the giant warrior lived alone in a big cave on top of a hill in Kunyele. He had curved out a home for himself in a cave building it as a fortress that was impenetrable. He pulled huge rocks round it that nobody could climb over or roll away.

He only left a narrow opening on the side exposed that he used to get in and out of this fortress. He secured it with a huge stone boulder that nobody could move as he slept at night or when he travelled out by day.

Mutarin had a long white spear with a shining blade. His shield was wide and tall to reach the roof of an ordinary house. He had made the shield with tough buffalo skin that could not be penetrated by ordinary spears.

His sword was the height of a standing man and he used it to devastating effect on anybody who came his way to threaten him or tried to prevent him from getting whatever he wanted.

Mutarin was not afraid of wild animals and he would never run away from an disturbed buffalo that approached him. He would kill the animal with just a single stab of his spear and the buffalo would go down first on its knees rolling on the ground dead.

Every day, Mutarin would leave his abode early in the morning on a journey to distance lands to go and rob people of their livestock. He will then bring back later the loot to his cave in Kunyele coming back with different types of livestock from his escapades’. He would bind them with ropes tethering them next to his cave to slaughter the animals one at a time as he chose to satisfy his massive appetite.

There was nobody in all the land that could dare go near him or challenge him to a fight. Mutarin would destroy anybody who would dare stand up to him with one slash of his huge sword or a single stab of his great spear. Even when the warriors attempted a joint onslaught, they still could not manage to kill him as he would either fight them back ferociously or flee from them and come back later and separately kill them one by one.

The people watched helplessly as Mutarin did as he pleased taking away their livestock at will. Despite their many misgivings, they would let him have his way and take with him whatever he desired without anybody saying a word as they were all afraid of him.

On a day that he chose not to travel far, he would always choose the best animals from the local herds from people living nearby. He would pick out the ones that were very fat and healthy. The people would just watch helplessly as Mutarin picked his choice animals and did as he pleased with their property without anybody raising so much as a finger at him.

As he continued to oppress the people, Mutarin continued to grow stronger and powerful as his fame spread across all the land.

Mutarin came to the home Lesinko of one of the old men early one morning and went straight to his cow’s enclosure in the middle of the homestead. He selected the biggest bull and separated it from the rest of the herd ready to drive it away. He chose Kirgit, the big horned black and white bull the king of the herd calmly leading it out to go and slaughter it in his cave.

The old man was distraught “Please, please!” he cried out, “I will let you have any other bull you want, as you can see I have many cows and bulls that you can choose from. You can even pick two bulls in exchange for this one, pick any of your choice but please spare this one for me just this once I beg you,” he pleaded, but Mutarin would hear none of that.

“I love this bull just like my own heart,” the old man wailed “I would give my life in exchange for it,” he pleaded. “Please spare this one, just this once and take any other you want from the herd for I would never stop you from getting what you want from me.”

The giant finally spoke, “because you say that you love this bull so much is precisely the reason why I want it. I also love good things and I am having no other animal but this one that you love! I am taking it away to spite you so that you may know I take what I choose and can do what I desire without anybody stopping me!”

With that the giant led the bull out separating it from the other animals and shortly departed with the bull holding it by the tail leading it away. Lesinko watched tearful feeling helpless as his beloved bull was moved away. He stood stiff as a rock watching both the giant and his cow disappear beyond the plains to the horizon and wiped a painful tear from his eye. “This must surely be a monster without a human heart,” he quietly muttered to himself as the wind blew on his face amplifying his sorrow.

All the people were growing tired of his oppressive ways by the day. They gathered one day in a big meeting to discuss what to do to tame the tyrant. The deliberations were long and emotional as everyone narrated the bad things that Mutarin had done to them.

Everyone had had something to say and had at one time or the other lost something of value to giant. They narrated what the burly tyrant had done to them, sob stories of oppression and injustice meted out to them by the big Giant that nobody could dare challenge.

After very long deliberations, a decision was finally arrived at and a plan hatched to disarm and kill the notorious giant. The plan was simple, it was that the most beautiful girl in the whole land be sought who must be brave enough and willing to go live with the giant to act as a bait to disarm him so that he could get killed.

The search immediately started for the fairest maiden in the land willing to undertake the dangerous mission for the sake of her community. The girl would have to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice if need be and lay down her life for the sake of her people. She would have to be very pretty to be irresistible to the giant so as to be used as a bait to befriend, disarm and lure the giant to his death.

A big search was commissioned throughout the land shortly thereafter to identify the girl to bait the giant and after many days of searching, Seleyian the tall beautiful girl with milk white teeth was chosen. Seleyian was very beautiful and confident to a fault and they were sure she was going to be the perfect bait they were looking for to neutralize the monster.

When she was informed that she was the chosen one to undertake the dangerous mission, all she could say was, “I am willing and ready to offer myself as a sacrifice to do that which you are asking me. If I die in the mission, I consider it no loss as I would have died for a good cause for the sake of my people to liberate them from this terrible bondage. If I survive and succeed in this mission then I would have saved my people from suffering.”

Seleyian was duly instructed by the elders and the warriors on what to do. She was led away after an emotional farewell and set off from her family and friends as nobody knew what would be her fate in the hands of the giant. She was taken near Mutarin’s cave in Kunyele on a day and time they were sure that he was away on his cattle raiding missions and left at the entrance to his cave to await his return.

Seleyian was told to be as friendly as possible to the giant when he comes back to the cave to win his confidence. Warriors were detailed to monitor the movement of the giant and observe the routes that he took on his travels every day as he went out.

Seleyian was encouraged to be strong and courageous as the warriors went and hid in nearby caves. She bid her time waiting for the return of the giant to the cave. Late in the evening they observed as the giant came back to his cave driving several oxen that he brought back from his raiding mission in a far away land.

When Mutarin came to the entrance to his cave, he saw the girl seated and looked at her harshly and stared at her for a long time without saying a word. Seleyian smiled back sweetly at him without saying anything and only then did the giant relax a little and he seemed to soften down towards the girl.

Mutarin passed by her and entered his cave. He slaughtered one of the oxen he had brought and roasted its meat on a huge bonfire that he made in the cave and ate the meat. He later emerged to throw some pieces of meat at the girl seated in the cold by the entrance to his cave without saying a word to her.

The next day, Mutarin set out early to distant lands that he usually went on his missions but before he departed he handed out some cooked meat to Seleyian to eat and then left her alone.

After he left, the warriors emerged from their hiding places and found Seleyian seated at the spot they had left her the previous day. They questioned her on what transpired during the night.

“When he came here last evening and saw me he was at fist surprised and hostile towards me and I was afraid he would kill me, but I smiled back at him and he relaxed, he later threw some pieces of meat at me like the way one throws meat to a cat or a dog.”

“This morning as he departed he was much friendlier as he handed me the meat with his hand without throwing them at me like he did yesterday.” “Just continue being nice to him and try to be even friendlier today and every other day until he begins to open up and talk to you.”

This went on for some time with Mutarin waking up to go out on his adventures leaving Seleyian behind and returning late in the evening with the loot from his sojourns. Seleyian was patient with him always sitting in a warm corner near the entrance to the cave sheltering from the sunshine by day and wind at night.

One day, Mutarin came back to the cave early and stood for a long time looking at the smiling Seleyian sitting by the entrance to the gate. “Where are you from?” he finally asked her, “I am a Maasai girl and came here by myself” “what brought you here? Why did you come?” “I heard stories about you from far and wide of your fame across the land that you are a great and powerful man, very brave and courageous with no equal in all the land.”

“I admired you greatly and decided to come here and be your wife” When Mutarin heard what the girl had said he was very happy and began to immediately like her. He invited her inside his cave and began talking to her, gradually opening up.

He grew very fond of Seleyian and changed his departing hours starting to delay leaving the cave in the morning to first talk to her making sure that she had all that she wanted before departing to go for his cattle raids across the land. He also began to come home early from his missions to slaughter the animals that he brought along. He gave Seleyian choice meat taking care to prepare it for her the way she wanted it.

This went on until Mutarin was no longer going very far to get animals to slaughter but would only leave briefly and be back to his cave to be with Seleyian within no time.

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