The King of the Jungle

Moulid Iftin Hujale

Early one Saturday evening, I arrived home earlier than usual after very tiresome and long visits from friends and particularly my grandmother. I had eaten some food and slept. It was a surprise to many colleagues who looked in that night to find me in bed as early.

“Why, Moulid you mean you never want to follow us??” They asked. I complained that I was not feeling well and jokingly told them that “early to bed makes man healthy, wealthy and wiser.” Later they left.

From there the only thing I remembered was sleeping while putting on my shoes. That night I had a lot of dreams but the most interesting one was that: I went to the forest with my uncle who was looking for firewood. He allowed me to follow him reluctantly and I enjoyed being with him.

Four hours later, the trouble started. We lost our way and as he tried to climb a very long tree to see if there is anyone to help us.

I heard a very deafening sound and ran away before he could even come down to save me. Later, I found myself in deep jungle. Much to my surprise, I found all the animals in that jungle, and voting. I was voted to be the king, for the lion had a lot of problems and could not be voted. I became the king of the jungle. I woke up feeling great and delightful but in the morning all I found was my family members gathering around me, laughing at me.

Happening Now

  • A fall harvest of book reviews coming in: of The Others by Sarah BLAU (translated from the Hebrew by Daniella Zamir); of LO Yi-Chin’s Farewell, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy TIANG; of Véronique TADJO’s In the Company of Men

  • A fascinating interview with IWP’s Senior Advisor, professor Peter Nazareth, retired from UI’s English Department in spring 2021, after nearly five decades of teaching.

  • Word reaches us that poet HU Xudong  胡续冬, who also taught comparative and world literatures at Peking University (Beida), specializing in Latin American literatures, passed away unexpectedly. RIP, Hu Xudong…

  • We note with sadness the passing of Hiroshi SAKAGAMI 坂上 弘, whose long novelistic career garnered him major literary and cultural honors. A former president of the Japan Writers’ Association, he was until his retirement also the director of Keio University Press.

  • The poetic documentary Songs Still Sung: Voices from the Tsunami Shores, written and co-produced by Takako ARAI and creatively subtitled into English by a class of UI students of Japanese, will be screened at the prestigious Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, on-line 10/7-14/2021.

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