Lost and Drowned

Two small boys went missing two days ago. The children were herding the goats and sheep of their Maasai village. Evening saw the goats arrive back at the village without their shepherds. At dawn yesterday, every able-bodied man among the warriors and elders was off searching the countryside for miles around. They search the forest above us as far as Ngorongoro Crater and the plains below to the edges of the Serengeti. Last night all returned without having sighted the lost children. The hundreds of exhausted men promised the now frantic parents they would resume the hunt for the missing boys in the morning. Early this morning, the search was resumed, now focused now on the large lake formed by the rains. This year the lake is huge due to the unusually heavy rains. Feeding it are streams from as far away as Endulen by way of Oldupai Gorge to the West, and Ngorongoro crater in the mountain above us. This afternoon, the boys were found drowned and floating together in the shallow lake. Somehow, they had lost their way in the gathering darkness and stumbled onto the sucking mud flats on the edge of the huge pond.

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