Same story as, 'Jordi: The girl who threw a leaf at a Lion'.
A South African girl’s journey into Africa, where its fiercest Zulu secret shows her how to come to terms with her Father's suicide. More
* Please note, this is NOT a short story, but a juvenile fiction story (Middle-grade) of an eleven-year-old girl’s point of view of coming to terms with a traumatic family event.
The reader's transported into another world -- an African world, where its fiercest Zulu secret shows a girl (Jordi) how to cope with a traumatic family event. All the same, this story doesn't necessarily focus on suicide, merely sets aside for awareness, and at eleven-years-old, Jordi experiences this awful change. On the evening of her Father's suicide, Jordi's Ma is mysteriously removed from the house. Along with her dog, Lassie -- who isn't even close to a sheepdog in any way, and her brother (Hayden) they set out to find her.
Entering a spooky cave, Hayden decides Jordi's chosen tunnel looks far too creepy to navigate and decides (on his own) to find a better route. Lassie decides to follow him, and Jordi's left on her own but luckily her Pa's still with her...
To her disappointment, he also abandons her (again) and she's forced to explore on her own to find an exit. When she falls into another dark tunnel and lands in water, she realises this isn't as easy as she thought. Crawling out into dense fog and mud, she's reunited with her brother and dog. However, her happiness soon fades when Lassie runs towards distant squelches in the mud. The fog slithers apart and reveals a small hut -- Shonga, the Tokoloshe's home. Within seconds tortured screams surround them, Hayden flees and heads back towards the tunnel. However, Jordi's not so lucky because the mud clamps around her feet and prevents her from joining him.
Shonga slowly creeps out and Jordi's never been so scared before. After a tense period of staring, he hails her over to him but she won't even think about it. Jordi has little choice in the matter though, when she's pushed towards him by the fog. Being so close to him frightens her even more but then something strange happens... This nightmarish creature wins her over and she follows him into the hut. He then slices his tongue down the middle to speak to her. After introducing himself she learns this isn't hell, but a land for lost souls, forced to live in the swamp and guarded for an eternity by Shonga and his best friend, the fog.
In addition to his 'guarding' duties, he's also a messenger for the African (Zulu) gods; they will guide her through Africa in her journey to find her family. Her first guide is a fearsome Zulu warrior who leads her through the Serengeti Grassland and lion country to meet a regal Zulu Queen and her vulture, unusual Zulu gods, and the wisest of the Zulu, who is the only man lions listen to by the way. Her main guide is her best grown-up friend: Sha. Who is a mighty Zulu King and god of storms, also the most powerful African warrior. With their caring guidance, she journeys on and encounters an adventure like never before.
This tale covers the five documented stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance.
A young girl’s journey to come to terms with the suicide of her Father.
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