The dogs were barking loudly and frantically. I stood up to see what the issue was and three Zebras had come into our cottage yard. Tom and Gio, both large dogs, were violently protesting their presence so close to our small house. In their mind they were protecting the stoep (porch).
The next thing I saw was the male zebra chasing Gio, the older and slower Sheppard, and trying to bite her. They disappeared around the back of the house and I stepped out to try and slow down the conflict. I went the opposite direction assuming they would circle the house. Gio raced around the house but the Zebra caught her at the driveway and pinned her to the ground. Using all four legs the Zebra was on top of the dog attempting to kick the dog to death. I yelled out and clapped my hands loudly and Gio somehow slipped out from under the animal and raced down the road and into the bush. The zebra raced after her. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
I jumped in the car and followed down the road a short distance expecting to see the dog trampled to death. I found the zebra, but there was no Gio. Finally in the distance I caught sight of a silhouette. The dog was trotting across an earthen dam. The zebra never took his eyes off of her. But the dog had wisely put a good distance between herself and the angry animal. The zebra was snorting.
I needed to try and check on the frightened dog. I drove around a little bit and finally found her back in her yard at the manager’s house. I expected to see a bloody and limping animal. To my surprise Gio seemed unhurt. I could find no cuts, blood or damage. She was breathing hard but leaned up alongside my leg as if to relax and seek a soft hand.
Africa has been a series of unusual experiences and moments that cause us to pause and reflect. Cathy said earlier today that the dust is endless. She sweeps three times a day. The wind is blowing so hard at times that you can watch dust enter the cottage through the key hole and any lose fitting around the doors or windows.
She said, the Lord remembers that we are but dust. Gio’s experience also reminded me that we are all a breath away from eternity.
Cathy and Danny Sartin
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Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.