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The Deadliest Predators This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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The statue of Mungu for centuries had been lost in legend.  Thousands of Baboons, Bushbabies, Guenons, Colobuses, Mangabeys and Chimpanzees would speak the legend to their infants, yet none could say where the statue had been hidden.  It was said to be at the very edge of the jungle, where the two different cultures of the jungle and desert animal clans met.  Yet still none could find it.  Legend said that it could grant any three wishes that did not tamper with death.  It’s power was said to be beyond the animals’ imaginations.
Musa’s mother often told him this story, while giving him his daily groom and cleansing the insects from his back.  She would tell this story with a soft voice and gentle touch, and then would cradle him to sleep.
One night she asked him, “What would you wish for sauti?”
He wouldn’t think twice and would reply, “I would want to be powerful, mama, and be able to fight off the evil birds and cats and snakes!”
She only shook her head and said, “You were not meant to be an ape.  I’ve never met one with such ambition for power as you, Musa.”
Musa just shrugged and stepped out of his mother’s arms to play with some fellow chimps.  The day was quieter than normal, usually the sounds of monkeys calling for their friends and children could be heard throughout the jungle, or insects speaking their native tongues could be heard shouting.  Insects were the most obnoxious of creatures, screaming and shouting wherever they went.  But today, there seemed to be peace on the jungle floor, which is why Musa decided to venture down the tree and investigate.  He had never strayed from his tree to the floor without his mother’s permission.  She had always warned him of how dangerous the floor of the jungle was, and that he should never go down there without her.
As soon as he hit the soil, he found beautiful white mushrooms growing on the ground, and stuffed them into his mouth.  They tasted amazing, much better than his usual meal of insects. 
Suddenly there was a flash of yellow and black, and Musa looked up to find a giant leopard standing over him, speaking violent feline tongues.
“Musa!”  Musa turned his head to find his mother swinging towards him and landing with a thud in front of him, just in time to growl at the giant cat that stood in front her.  The cat and her circled each other for a few moments, Musa hiding in his mother’s shadow.
“Musa run.”  His mother ordered, and he bolted up a tree as fast as he could while hearing the sickening screech of his mother and the growl of the cat.  He fled until their wasn’t another the sound of them to be heard anymore.
Alone and afraid, Musa climbed the trees of the jungle until the day grew dim, and the light disappeared behind the thick trees and vines of the jungle.  He found a high eucalyptus tree to rest in until the sun rose again, and Musa blinked his eyes open.  It took him a moment to recount the previous day’s events, but when he did, he panicked and jerked his head around, wondering what part of the jungle he had wandered off to.  Below him stood a tall statue of the most beautiful creature he had ever seen, yet he could not define its species.  He could only bask at its glorious figure and allow it to put him in a mesmerized trance.  He approached it without even feeling his feet touch the ground, feeling as if he were floating towards the statue. 
The statue opened its mouth and spoke a beautiful Macacan tongue. 
“I see you are troubled, Musa,”  it said,  “I am Mungu.  I brought you to me so that I may grant any three wishes of your’s in order to restore your happiness.”
Musa bowed his head to the ground and requested knowledge which he had already known in his heart.
“I wish to know if my mother is alive.”
“She is dead,” Mungu shook its beautiful head, “and unfortunately, I can not bring her back even if you wish it.  So do not waste your second wish, dear one”
Musa nodded, wiping a tear from his little eye.
“Then, will you tell me the future?  How can my species prosper when such terrible predators destroy us?”
Mungu closed its eyes, and took a long inhale, a sound which reminded him of the sizzling death fires of the jungle.
“I see…” Mungu whispered, “I see you are capable of restoring your kind, should you use your third wish wisely.  Your children shall have the power to summon the others with just a swipe of their fingers, to travel at speeds faster than even the cheetah can run, to live in a higher and safer place than the tallest Eucalyptus tree found in the jungle, to fly higher than the crow scavenging for food, to cross oceans and conquer all jungles, deserts and plains. They will become so powerful that they will be known as predators to the world.  All animals in the kingdom shall fear their presence.”
Musa looked to the ground, hiding his grief stricken face from Mungu.
“I wish to become a new species, one that is predator to the predators, yet protector of the prey.”
The statue bowed its head, and Musa felt the earth spin around him as he transformed.  The hair shed from his body, his back grew straight and rigid, his nose pointed out of his face, his legs strengthened so he could stand on them without the aid of his arms, his ears shrunk, and his skin became clear without wrinkles. 
Musa stood with his head held high, admiring his new body.  He bowed to the statue, which then became still and rigid, and walked out of the jungle, one foot in front of the other.  The largest change, he noticed was the ideas that popped into his head.  He grabbed a stick, and with nothing but a rock, he produced a weapon deadly enough to kill any predator in his way.  With a smile that shone like the stars on his hairless dark face, he knew that he was deadly enough to destroy all the predators that dared to fight him.  Musa became known as The Protector throughout the jungle and desert.  Cats, birds, snakes and all other animals feared Musa’s name. 
Yet as life went on, Musa’s children were less than careful about killing predators or prey.  They lost the title The Protectors and became known as The Predators of the World, for they destroy everything in their path for greed.  Today even Musa looks down at them with a shake of his head, regretting his hunger for power for his disgraceful descendents.  Therefore if you see a descendent of Musa today, run the other way, for they are worse than even the most deadly leopard.




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