This Hyena Is Going To Heaven


Samburu. The promised land for a jungle kingdom within a land of sunshine called Kenya. Nearly all the animals are God-fearing Christians. Every Sunday, the pets of God worship him under a sacred tree and Socialize with their neighbors. Sadly, no one ever invites Hyena, a lonely atheist, agonist, or something who desperately wants to be someone's friend.

The dragon god has chosen a holy slumber rather than annihilate them all for serving an imaginary unseen God. Meanwhile, the ...

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This Hyena Is Going to Heaven

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Samburu. The promised land for a jungle kingdom within a land of sunshine called Kenya. Nearly all the animals are God-fearing Christians. Every Sunday, the pets of God worship him under a sacred tree and Socialize with their neighbors. Sadly, no one ever invites Hyena, a lonely atheist, agonist, or something who desperately wants to be someone's friend.

The dragon god has chosen a holy slumber rather than annihilate them all for serving an imaginary unseen God. Meanwhile, the animals decide to realign their allegiance and feed the god in his sleep hoping when he wakes up, he will make everyone as wise and powerful as gods. A stone altar is built for food offerings. Soon the animals are bowing and tithing the best of their meager food to the dragon. But the dragon god is livid, and chaos is about to erupt on the top of Devil's Mountain.

In this Christian fairy tale, the Dragon slayer slowly unsheathes his sword. But it is up to the animals of the kingdom to let him save their future. They must call him by The Name


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781450287128
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/4/2011
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Read an Excerpt

This Hyena Is Going to Heaven

By Grace King'ara

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Grace King'ara
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4502-8710-4

Chapter One

Once Upon a Time

* * *

Once upon a time, there was a little jungle kingdom in a place called Samburu. It lay on the equator in a land of sunshine called Kenya. Every morning, the sun journeyed from east to west. She caught her breath on everyone's head at midday and then hurried west to paint the horizon with magnificent colors. The animals believed she slept on a rainbow. The next day, she caught a tunnel under the earth and made it east again in time to wake up the birds that then woke up the rest of the jungle. Time was told by the position of the sun and shadows.

Lion was king, Twiga the giraffe was pastor, Tortoise was the fountain of knowledge, and Hyena cleaned bones from the king's palace. The mysterious Vulture knew everything about everyone, but no one knew anything about her. She was never a part of anyone's life, yet she was never apart. Parrot reported everything that happened to everyone. Lizard was consulted on all news about man. Humans did not mind his presence in their jungle as long as he fed on the flies they hated. Snake was rumored to be in the hush-hush business of stolen eggs. Monkey had something spooky going up his tree; he was suspected of witchcraft. There were many other businesses in the jungle, but this story does not want to be about work.

Almost all the animals were Christian and God fearing. On Sundays, they worshiped God under the sacred tree, a giant umbrella of dark green leaves rumored to be older than Tortoise. Nobody knew how old Tortoise was. He just was. Everyone's great-grandmother had met him, and some guesses included a century!

The king had decreed that no animal should kill or eat another on Sunday. It was therefore safe for anyone to go to church and socialize with neighbors.

Sadly, nobody ever invited Hyena, and he was too shy to go alone. He had no friends. Sometimes he eavesdropped on Parrot or Lizard briefing the king just to keep abreast of the news. But he felt ashamed afterwards. Human news was juicy, such as when they used animal stories to teach their cubs in school, or when they were all freaked out about the mad cow disease. He planned to ditch eavesdropping soon and behave with integrity, but every time a juicy piece was reported, he postponed his transformation. After all, no one believed he was capable of integrity.

Frustrated and lonely, he lost motivation even to clean himself. He believed he was ugly and could not wash that away—and he suspected that everyone agreed. His front legs were longer than his hind legs, so sometimes he put his hind legs on higher ground and pretended to be a handsome, straight animal like Lion. His dotted coat was dirt in color, and something always dripped from his mouth after scavenging. These days, the queen and the princess wrinkled their noses when he passed.

Hyena lived in the servant quarters of the palace. It was a burrow in the ground that the king had commissioned Warthog to dig in return for one week's amnesty. During that time, no animal was allowed by law to eat or harm warthog, even if it was not a Sunday. That was how the king paid his wages. The Green House was the royal lair of King Lion. It was a long, flat stretch of the greenest grass. Little squares of tall grass provided sleeping quarters for members of the first family. In an oval office, the king held court and received important news from the jungle reporters.

Hyena's den was nice and warm. Sometimes the royal cubs pulled pranks on him by throwing bones in the hole that landed on his head. He got out and chased them around, even though the queen was always watching and suspicious. King Lion was kind, fair, and down to earth. Sometimes he cracked jokes with Hyena but only when the queen was not around. Queen Bora believed royalty was not to mix with every scavenger out there.

One day, the whole jungle had left for church except for Hyena. Hyena believed in the unseen God, but he prayed only for others, never himself. This particular Sunday, he chose to pray for the first family. There were times he wanted to pray for himself, but he was not sure God cared to have a pet Hyena. Perhaps when he cleaned up, quit scavenging and eavesdropping for integrity, God would love him. In the meantime, he prayed for God's favorite creatures, just to show God he was not jealous. He understood and forgave everyone. In his opinion, it was hard for anyone—even God—to love a scavenger like him.

Dear God, he prayed, kneeling in his den, his nose in the sky. This is Hyena, but do not concern yourself with me. I am calling about the happiness of the royal family. The king favors the princess, which hurts the prince. He ought to roar by now, but he doesn't—and he can't be king till he roars. The queen favors the prince. It hurts the princess so badly she eats her own weight in food. The queen also thinks she is smarter than her husband. God, if you trust the nose of a hyena, I smell something sinister lurking around her, something that reeks of witchcraft. I don't know, God, seeing as I am only a scavenger, but something's not right in the royal household. It is spiraling out of control, and you might want to reel it in. Amen.

If anyone cared to know, Hyena called himself an atheist, sometimes agnostic. He had no idea what either of them meant, but the shock effect on the Christian animals was worth it. If they were too high and mighty to invite him to meet their God, he wanted to believe in something they hated—or at least pretend to. He kept telling himself he did not care, but deep down he did. He wanted desperately to be someone's friend.

Soon the sun was overhead and he was still alone sitting in a shrub hating his life. He recalled the most embarrassing day of his life, when Pig had invited his family to a party. It was supposed to be his happiest ... until his family was disgraced.

The hyenas had arrived several hours earlier than agreed. He and his macho cousin had immediately jumped into the mud pool where piglets were playing and bullied them to tears. He remembered with heavy guilt how they had bullied the innocent piglets, splashing them with mud till no one could tell what they were.

Meanwhile, Hyena's adult relatives had eaten everything in sight. Though only one family had been invited, the entire clan had tagged along. Pig and Warthog had politely tried to feed everyone, but the hyenas had asked for more and more helpings till all the food was gone. The other guests were yet to arrive.

The hyenas had made unbearable noise, stealing bites from one another and fighting over leftovers. Although it was Sunday, they had attempted to eat their hosts when no more food was available. That was when six elephant brothers and Rhino arrived. Grasping the situation quickly, the elephants tossed every hyena over the fence, but not before Rhino had poked a hole in every one of their behinds. He still remembered everyone running home with tails tucked between their legs, flat against their bellies. He had barely escaped a poke by hiding under the long legs of an arriving giraffe.

Parrot told everyone in the jungle what happened, and the hyenas were ostracized. They had never been invited anywhere since. Well, that was not exactly true. Good old Warthog had invited the clan to church one day, but they had turned him down cold. Now he wished they had not.

Every Sunday, Hyena watched other animals groom themselves, hug their families, and walk together to church. Whatever was served there, everyone came back happier and friendlier. Something in his spirit kept urging him to go, invited or not. Perhaps God himself was inviting him. A few Sunday's later, while praying for the royal family he snuck in a tiny prayer of courage for himself. Then he tiptoed to church unnoticed. In that way, if he did not like it and never wanted to go back, he would not have to explain himself to anyone—not that anyone cared, but he was trying to keep the faith.

Chapter Two

Once Upon the Devil*s Mountain

* * *

Snake's real name was Black Mamba. He had been told he was the fastest snake in the world. His venom was toxic enough to kill anyone of any size, even an elephant if he wanted to. But he had never needed to harm anyone ... at least not yet.

Black did not believe in the unseen God. In his opinion, it was blasphemous to claim that some God whom no one had ever seen, smelled, or tasted had made him. According to his ancestors, snakes came from one mighty egg laid by a giant female rock god on the Devil's Mountain. It was somewhere in Eastern Kenya. The rock was shaped like a half moon with two horns. Standing under her on the very bottom of the earth was the male rock god, Axis. His head was the other half moon. The visible female half-functioned as his eyes. She had the upper lip, and he had the lower. He had a human body, the muscles of a fighting bull, and the tail of a giant snake. Snakes believed it was Axis who held earth in two strong arms so it did not tilt or overturn, pouring everyone into the abyss.

Once upon a moment, the male rock god shot up to join the female in a rocky embrace, causing a great earthquake. Millions of rocks were strewn all over the world. That was how rocks were formed. In that moment, the two half moons became a full moon head, complete with eyes and a mouth.

The mouth released a giant egg that had been forming in the female for 666 moons. For another 666 moons, the sun warmed the egg daily on its way west. One day, millions of hatchlings burst out of the shell. Two of every kind of snake scattered all over the world. Male and female, they hatched out—except the Brahmin snake. Only one female came out; the egg had no more space to grow her mate. That is why all Brahmin snakes are female.

Afterwards, Axis went back to the bottom a frustrated god. His precious snakes had failed to evangelize the jungle, and all the other animals belonged to a cult called Christianity. The dreaded Christian sect was like a virus spreading across species, from humans to domestic animals and finally to jungle animals. Once it caught, it had no cure.

A furious Axis shook a fist, and a large portion of earth sunk, forming the Great Rift Valley. This was where the infectious faith was most intense. In one little jungle called Nyandarua, the animals had even predicted the exact date of the end of the world. No one else mortal or spirit was privy to that information.

In another bout of range, Axis swayed sideways, spilling some of the earth's water, which collected into many lakes. Lake Nakuru was owned by a very tall, pink bird called Flamingo. Her legs were longer than her whole body. She had webbed feet and a brain smaller than her eye, but she could fly, walk, swim, and even sit down.

Lake Victoria, a humongous freshwater lake, collected in a place called Kisumu. It spilled over to the lands of Kilimanjaro and the Ruwenzori Mountains of the Moon. The waters were owned by the biggest python, called Omieri, the most revered priest of Axis among the snakes. Some humans were rumored to accord him deity status, but then anything was possible with humans. They were even harder to predict than God.

The majestic Mount Kenya sprung up in the same chaos. Black thought it was a confused mountain because it had snow on its cap, which was closer to the sun than its bottom. It would have made more sense if the snow was on the bottom where it was shaded by the forest. The famous mountain of Kenya was owned by huge elephants. But it was the hushed up Devil's Mountain that was infamous.

Everyone had heard whispers of the scary mystical place covered with ancient rocks and shrubs. A lost animal stumbling upon the mountain immediately released his bowels out of fear. But the spookiest part was when the urine defied gravity and flowed uphill instead of downhill! This was enough to freak out even King Lion. Once uphill, it was impossible to climb down. Some force kept pulling uphill. A kicked stone rolled right back up. Survivors of the encounter had fur that stayed upright permanently. Others had lost their minds. A carnivore had turned into a herbivore and now ate grass. A dik-dik had eaten a jackal, and a domestic sheep had bitten her human master's bottom off. Herds of humans had been heard screaming out there, but no one knew if they were coming or going.

The only way down Devil's Mountain was walking backwards with one's eyes closed in order to avoid meeting any eye of the rock. She had them hidden all over her body. Every 666 minutes, she opened one, and anyone who caught it with his own became blind. Mole and Bat could attest to that if anyone could get them to talk. Survivors of the haunted rock never remembered their ordeal—or if they did, they never told.

Underneath the rock was a very deep cave abandoned by human witches thousands of moons before. It now served as a transit center for demons. When someone died or embraced The Name, the demons that must then leave his body rested in the cave until they could be reassigned. No one knowingly set off to go there. A resting place for demons was no resting place.

No animal wanted to appear to know much about the place lest they were dubbed devil worshipers. Suspects were immediately ostracized. One was Vulture's aunt. Her eyes were a bit off color. Even Snake thought she had the evil eye. Anyone whose stomach remained bulged during a drought also caused whispers of devil worship. The Christians were notorious for denying such bulging evidence. They said their unseen God could provide good health in all seasons. Snake decided something had to be loose in their heads. Both the followers of Christ and the followers of Axis suspected the other of being a satanic cult. As far as Black Mamba was concerned, the score was even.

Snake's ancestors had taken pilgrims to the Devil's Mountain, tasted the air, and liked it. But none had ever revealed what happened during the pilgrimage. They just slithered around as if they possessed an important secret. Some never came back. There was something out there, and Black wanted to unravel the mystery. Perhaps they had gone right ahead to snakes' heaven without experiencing death. He would like that.

The Devil's Mountain was also rumored to be the headquarters of The Mass, the most feared secret sect in the jungle world. Only the very elite were members, and no one knew for sure who they were. Christians thought The Mass was a code name for devil worship and that Axis was the very devil. Black Mamba did not care what they thought. No one sought out The Mass. They approached whomever they found worthy of belonging and then offered him membership. This kept many in secret expectation. It would feel good to be chosen for something, even if you were going to turn it down. It meant someone somewhere took notice. In this jungle, rumors were more often true than the truth, so Black had kept an expectant heart, and it had paid off.

The Mass had sent him a voice, just a voice. He had heard it again last night. But first he had to straighten out his good-for-nothing son, Nyoka. It was time he knew their god Axis.

Chapter Three

The First Family

* * *

King Moran believed in God. He was a confessed baptized Christian. But whenever he closed his eyes to pray, he fell asleep. He suspected a sleeping demon, but he did not know how to cast it out. He knew he should pray first thing, say good morning to God, but when the rays of the sun hit, he got busy trying to focus. Soon the sun paused overhead, and he took a nap. The queen fed him dinner, and the evening rolled into the night. He was snoring before he said goodnight to Jesus. God would understand. He was a king, too, and matters of a kingdom could be very involving. When he had said he loved him and had gotten baptized Christian and proper, he had meant it. Surely God knew that without a thousand reminders.

Sometimes he blamed his blond mane that was extremely long. When the sun was overhead, he got too hot and napped completely motionless for anywhere from a few minutes to a whole day. Once in a while, he would swat the flies that buzzed around him with his tufted tail or just let them be. After all, he was king. No need to kill his subjects unnecessarily, even if they were flies. His thoughts drifted back and forth this afternoon as he dozed. He got up quickly when the queen, her sisters, and her female cousins returned with a kill.


Excerpted from This Hyena Is Going to Heaven by Grace King'ara Copyright © 2011 by Grace King'ara. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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