Crashing Through the Bush
Every time we mention a crash of rhino’s, we get the same questions... What is a crash? Why do they call it a crash of rhinos? A crash is simply another word for herd...nothing exciting about how they got to be called a crash...but, what if...
Many years ago, in the heart of Africa, long before the bush had been cleared and big cities sprung out of the ground, there was a family living their lives just like their ancestors had. They lived off the land, growing and harvesting the native foods that grew around them. They loved the land, and cherished it as they moved from day to day.
One evening, as the family finished up the daily tasks, the father looked at his youngest son and said “I think it’s time for you to learn to hunt, you will get up with me tomorrow morning and we will go out for your first lesson in the bush.” The son was so excited he barely slept that night, he found himself listening to the sounds of the night, wondering if any of those sounds were from the beasts his father would teach him to hunt.
Morning finally came and the son was up and ready before his father was. With a smile, the father gathered his hunting tools and off they went into the bush. The son found himself listening and hearing things he had never noticed before, the crackling of small branches, the songs of birds, the footsteps of animals from a distance. The father found himself watching his sons face as he had done many times before with his other sons. The wide eyed look of fascination in their faces was always amazing for the father to see in his sons as they moved from young boys to young men, learning the ways of the bush.
As they moved deeper into the bush, the boy listened as his father told him many things he would need to know as a hunter. The boy listened carefully, trying to soak all the words in, feeling so special that he was finally hearing the words from his father that he had heard his brothers talk about.
The morning expedition was coming to an end as they headed back home. The temperature was rising quickly. It looked like rain any minute which would provide a small reprieve from the blistering sun. As they approached the last waterhole they would pass before the long trek home, the father put his arm out and stopped the boy from moving any further. The boy looked anxious, but kept quiet and looked as his father. His heart began to beat harder and he wondered what it was his father had seen or heard. His father crouched down and pulled his son with him, and there they sat, quiet...watching...waiting.
The boy then heard what his father had heard, a loud and long breath...and another, several of them. He heard slow heavy footsteps, and tiny squeaky sounds. He was confused, what could that be? There were many of them, and they sounded big. He glanced up at his father and saw him looking carefully looking through the bush. The boy peeked as best he could and saw nothing but deep gray...and it moved. The sound of the floor of the bush being crushed by their feet was filling his ears, and the boy finally couldn’t stand it any longer. He rose up and looked over the bush to see 5 huge rhino’s, all headed in the direction of him and his father. His father yanked him back down and gave him a scolding look.
The rhinos paused and for what seemed a long time the breathing and snorting was all the boy could hear. Then in a rush of sound everything changed...the boy could hear the rhino’s feet moving faster, the snorts and breaths were deeper. The father grabbed the son and pulled him to him, leaning into the bush as far as he could. The rhinos went by at a hurried pace, crushing everything under their feet and moving anything out of their way with a shove. Within a minute the sounds were gone, the fear was gone...the bush had once again become very quiet with nothing but the sounds of birds were heard. The father looked at his son and with a stern voice said “The most important lesson you can learn is to respect the animals. This is their home; we are mere visitors when we come this deep into the bush. Those rhinos will crash through the bush without hesitation. You must watch for them and all animals because they are not predictable.”
When the father and son neared their home, the son broke away from his father and ran to tell his mother what he had seen. His words were hurried and excited as he explained all the wonderful things he had seen and heard. His mother laughed as she heard him say “And then there were many rhinos that crashed through the bush, and my father and I hid very well”.
From then on the family talked about the crashing rhinos, and as time went on and the son grew up, the story was passed down until the group of rhinos became a crash of rhinos.
While it makes no sense to us calling a herd of rhinos a crash, there is someone out there that can tell us the story of how and why the rhinos earned such an odd descripton. But for now, we’ll just ponder the story about the young son and his father, and the time they watched as the rhinos crashed through the bush.