Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)
TITLE: THE BUZZARD
By Marita Vandertogt
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The ground was hot. Too hot. Searing hot.
The little boy crawled on the hot ground, each bone in his body protruding, making him look angular, deformed. The bird stood a few feet behind, as black as the skin of the little boy, and waited.
SALE – BANANAS 37 CENTS A POUND
Still more than a mile to go for food, for water. He kept dragging his body along the ground with skinny arms that could barely hold his hands in place. His knees jutted into the sand, leaving a mark as he pulled himself along. The dry, hard ground was as much a threat as the glaring sun, and the hook beaked buzzard that followed close behind.
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The boy and bird describes a photograph that won a Pulitzer prize in 2002 I believe. Just a boy and a buzzard, standing a few feet behind him, the sun a halo of light in the background. The picture was taken somewhere in Africa. A few months later, the photographer killed himself.
Put that melon back, sweetheart, it’s too soft in the centre. And only choose the apples that have no bruises.
The picture burns in my mind like the sun on that little boy’s back. And the arrogance of the buzzard, waiting for his prey a few feet away, angers me. Yet nature placed him there.
Who put the little boy there?
(I saw the photo in church this Sunday, and it broke my heart. We have so much.)
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