Grupo Edebé

Foreign Rights

Soy una nuez

Children's category: Safari, by Maite Carranza

According to Dani, talking is useless. After a mishap on the zoo years ago, Dani stopped speaking and uses sign language. Being unable to speak means having to endure ridicule and provocation at school but it also reinforces his ability to observe and to listen.

Dani’s family decides to join a Safari in Africa hoping that Dani will talk again. Nevertheless, as soon as they get there, and due to mischances, the boy ends alone and lost in the African savannah. Jupiter, a female chimpanzee, will adopt Dani as her son and will open him the doors to his new chimpanzee family, with whom Dani will surprisingly feel and communicate better than in his usual environment.

Dani’s experience vindicates the lack of empathy of our society towards animals and shows how wonderful the emotional and non-oral communication is. His experience will reveal the strong ties between humans and animals, as well as teaching us about the social organization and habits of primates.

The other main character of the story is a young student of primates, Mary Jo, who will discover the true face of her chimpanzee researcher idol, a scientist to whom she is suppose to work for as an intern. The mockery, the abuse of power and the lack of professionalism will lead Mary Jo to fight for her dignity.

Safari evidences the gender inequity in science field and stands for the independence and value of women. Mary Jo, as well as Jupiter, the female chimpanzee who adopts Dani, will have to assert their knowledge and intelligence against the macho attitude of their supposed dominant bosses.

Excerpt

I don’t know where I am.
I cannot see a thing, my head hurts a lot, I can hardly move it, and I hear a buzz as if someone was trying to cut my head with a chainsaw.
Sorry, my mistake, I think I got confused.
The sound is not exactly as the one produced by a chainsaw (I am not an expert on chainsaws), it sounds like a kind of an animal growling (I am neither an animal expert).
Although… An animal?
It couldn’t be, but it is, it actually sounds like the roar of a furious dog before attacking.
I am trying to think but I cannot. I probably crashed against something, that is why I have a bump on my head and I have lost my memory. Even if I try hard, I don’t know who I am nor what my name is. The only thing I remember is the face of a charming girl who smiles at me and does not stop talking. Her name is Mary Jo, I am sure about that. When I think about her, my mouth tastes as chocolate, and I want to hug her even if she is not here. I think it is a nice memory.
Suddenly, something holds my arm and a terrible howl, this time really close to me, so close that I can feel the breath on my skin, forces me to open my eyes. I close them again terrified.
It is a wild beast, half a span of my face, sniffing at me. I have seen a huge snout and long and sharp teeth. I can feel its breath on my left cheek and the warmth of its huge body over my shirt.”.