Hyena Child

In the hot, wandering wilderness of Africa, we find Naieesha, a twelve year old girl who has been raised by a pack of hyena's her entire life.
When Thomas Walters, a man on safari, discovers this girl, he captures her and brings her home to his wealthy family in New York.
Things aren't always what they seem.
Lost and alone, Naieesha's behaviour is intolerable. She fights, eats with her hands, and will do anything to get back home to her beloved pack. Both her and The Walter's family are at their wits end. Can Lena Van Helsing, a teacher for the deaf and misunderstood, step in and save the day?

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24. Chapter XXIV - Miss Lena's Perspective

Naieesha has improved so well over the past two weeks. She knows most words, but is still trying to pronounce and fit them into complete sentences. I am even trying to teach her a bit of Swahilli, as part of the African culture. Last night when she was crying, I murmered upendo repeatedly, in hopes that she would pick up on the word love. But according to our conversation at breakfast this morning, Naieesha recalled a "vision" she'd had, which lead to more than simply understanding.

"I. Had. Dream." she began to talk.

I put down my fork. "Oh, really, Naieesha?" "What did you dream about?" Mr Walters and I were listening intently, but Mrs Walters paid no mind.

"Upendo."

"Upendo?" I asked, surprised.  "Do you know what that means, Naieesha?"

"L... L..." She struggled.

"Yes, yes?"  "Take your time, darling."

"L-ovvve."

"That's right, Naieesha!"  "Love!"  "What was love in your dream?"

"Village."

Village? she had never used that word before. "Do you know what a village is, Naieesha?"

"Home." "Africa."  "People."

That was correct, but this still made no sense. Was Naieesha perhaps referring to a flashback in her early childhood? Had she once caught a glimpse of her natural parents? Had she come in with human contact just for a solid moment...Before her whole future was taken away left to die in the wild?

I decided to ask Naieesha about it later. For now, we had to get ready and go over to the Toy Shoppe. She deserved a reward, a little smidgen from the human world.

Walking through downtown New York, I pointed out some objects to Naieesha to discover new words.  Street.  Building. Policeman.  

We reached the Toy Shoppe. Naieesha opened the door for me. What a polite child she was becoming.  

When we walked in, and told Naieesha all that she could buy, she headed straight to the dolls isle. 

Good. Christmas was coming soon, and I wanted to buy a few more things for her. I went toward the stuffed toys isle.

Now, what to choose? A bear? A cat? A, wait... hyena?

I grabbed the toy before anyone else could, then looked at it closely. Yes, it was indeed a hyena. The dog-like body, the pointy ears, the grey and brown fur with black spots. I looked behind me. Had Naieesha seen that I had grabbed the toy? Should I give it to her now? She would be so happy.

Yes, I believe I shall.

I walked back again to the doll isle, where I found Naieesha clutching an African doll, with a bright coloured dress, head scarf, and dangly earrings. 

"Naieesha darling." I whispered softly with the toy behind my back. "I have something for you."

Out popped the hyena. 

​For a second, Naieesha just stared. Then, as if something snapped, she grabbed the toy and started sobbing violently  into its soft fur as if her heart would break.

​I had just triggered something inside the girl, the home life she had missed so very much.

"Oh, Naieesha, I am so sorry." "I hadn't the faintest idea that the toy would upset you, love." "Let me take it from you-" 

She pulled away and snarled, protecting the hyena and stroking it lovingly. She glared at me, shouting angrily,

"I. Thought. You. Were. Friend!"

"I am your friend, darling!" I exclaimed, close to tears. "I just thought you-"

"Liar!" "Liar!" "Liar!"

"No, Naieesha, you don't understand!"

"You. Are. A. LIAR!" Naieesha turned and ran out of the shoppe.

"Naieesha!" I cried, bolting through the door. Please, listen to me!"

But the poor girl was nowhere to be seen.

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