By Kerri R.
The call of the wild has changed Alice, connecting her closer to life as nature intended and further from the political world she had originally set out to understand when she had fallen into her first rabbit hole and landed in a Wonderland that was more nightmare than dream world. Alice returns to the Savanna where the Shy Rabbit holes don’t lead to kings and queens, but to our true nature.
“And there are various ways to conquer this, monotonous, metropolis” ~ Nahko
While these worlds are strangely interconnected, Alice finds the lack of curiosity in the political world to be ineffective. She is no longer growing and shrinking from political potions. But her tolerance for nonsense has shrunk.
“The more I understand about the human race the less I comprehend about our purpose and place. And maybe if there was a clearer line the curiosity would satisfy”Nahko (Aloha Ke Akua)
Alice’s cell phone had been lighting up with solicitation from political candidates for days. She scolds herself as she often did in the original Wonderland: “A cellphone in the Wildlife Wonderland? Really Alice?”
Just when she is about to bury the device in the sandy dirt she receives a curious phone call. The invitation comes through on a poor phone connection. The caller on the other end asks with a warm patience she hadn’t expected “Can you hear me now?”
Alice holds one arm in the air and hops on one leg trying to create a human antenna. The caller’s words are breaking up terribly and she is about to give up. Then she hears the word sanctuary as clear as a tiger’s roar. And wait…did he just say unicorns?!
She arrives at the conservancy so fast one might think she is a flying superhero (Wondergirl, obviously). As she steps onto the grassy field she wonders if she misunderstood the location with the phone’s broken reception. It doesn’t seem quite as magical as she had imagined. No rainbows and glitter. She anxiously bites her nails. Is it safe? Should she leave? Should she risk waiting for the siting of the white unicorn?
The sun blinds her when she sees someone coming. She is glad she hesitated…she can make out the silhouette of a horn…or…two horns in single file? It has been a while since her school lessons, but she is sure “uni-” means one. The double-horned creature seems to be bounding (not trotting?), towards her. Should she run?
“All mysterious ways of nature and I am in to it”Nahko (Aloha Ke Akua)
The enormous animal had not been charging Alice. The sun had blocked Alice’s vision of another horned creature only a few feet away from her that the animal was heading to join. A mother and daughter, the last of their kind, graze on the unlimited supply of grass. They don’t look at all as Alice had pictured a unicorn. There is no flowing mane and tail; their legs are kind of…stumpy; they have muddied gray skin with wrinkles and folds that make them look as if they are wearing protective armour; And they have gigantic heads! But…there is something unexpectedly beautiful about them. An inner peace. Alice feels a sense of calm in their presence.
Alice’s guide steps out of the sunlight. He encourages her to come closer to meet the White Rhinos, soon to be as mythical as the unicorn if efforts to save the species are not successful.
“Cuz there’s no time to waste. Got to wake up the people time to stand up and say we know what we are for”Nahko (Aloha Ke Akua)
Alice learns the White Rhinoceros would have vanished sooner had these ladies not been born in captivity in a zoo. Alice is conflicted and confused. Wild animals saved by captivity; that is an unsettling oxymoron. Something doesn’t make sense. With their size alone, what predator could have possibly overcome their lineage in the first place? The fierce and ferocious King of the Jungle? Or the elephant (the only animal larger than them)? No. The guide shows Alice pictures that she cannot bear to look at for more than a glance. Broken horns. She wants to scream out into the world “WHY?” as if it would be heard and make a difference. The predator of these gentle giants is human.
“I cry for the creatures who get left behind. But everything will change in a blink of an eye.”Nahko (Aloha Ke Akua)
As if in solidarity, the sky opens up. Alice’s teardrops and the raindrops fall onto the back of the rhinoceros.
How do we fix a problem if we aren’t willing to see it honestly? When we are toddlers we believe if we cover our eyes and cannot see, that nobody can see us too. As we grow up, hiding is no longer a game. Even if we cover our eyes we cannot pretend that what is in front of us does not exist.
Alice knows that some rabbit holes are more challenging than others. When she cannot see a solution she has the choice to give up. She has the choice to take action out of a sense of duty. But neither of these choices bring her peace. Neither of these choices bring her results. One is defeat and the other often frustration.
“And if you wish to survive you will find the guide inside”Nahko (Aloha Ke Akua)
Alice does not know if the White Rhino will survive. She cannot will it to be so. But she does know that bringing awareness to their beauty is a heart-based action that she can do at this moment. Surrender. With love.
Looking from the eyes of the mother rhino to the eyes of the daughter rhino Alice sees the spirit of the unconventional unicorn. Powerful and gentle; trusting and worthy; calm in spite of an uncertain future; strength and grace. The rain stops. A rainbow emerges from behind the clearing clouds. When Alice least expects it.
Learn more about the rhinoceros
What does it mean to be functionally extinct?
Continue the adventure with the next post, Prideless Roar.
Kerri is an advocate for the introverted activist. Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others. She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.