This Wild Heart

Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, © Heiko von Fintel Google Maps

Dearest Father,

By now you must be wondering whether I’ve been taken hostage by savages or eaten alive by hungry lions. End your worrying now, dear Papa, and know that I am well.

Know also I was not blind to your intentions when I left. You expected this safari would tame my wild heart. You thought upon return, I would marry William Vanadel with no further argument. But Papa, I will not be returning.

From the dawn that gilds each blade of grass, to the jewel box of stars that spill across the night sky, Rodesia is mine. It took but a fortnight among the kindness of these people to know that I should live my life among the Tswana–both as a teacher and a student, both as a sister and a wife. Send no envoy to retrieve me, for I am not your Margaret.

They call me Keneilwe.

Copyright/source unknown

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

This week’s story was all about trying to wrap a meaningful story around the stunning spot I happened to stumble across when I plopped my Pegman down. There might be prettier sights captured by Pegman, but right now I can’t think of any.



  1. A journey of discovery in every sense. Well done!

  2. Oh, I love this piece so much. Your elegant description does justice to the photo, and the story is gripping and true. Poor William will just have to marry one of the girls from the bank, I guess!

    1. Thank you kindly. Isn’t this place a sight? Wow.

  3. You really captured the time period and her personality. Well done.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, James!

  4. What a delightful story! Keneilwe sounds completely entranced by Rhodesia. You handle the epistolary form with great confidence and skill. Lovely!

    1. Ha, I’ve been reading a variety of different narrative structures lately and I guess it’s been rubbing off. Glad form worked for you. Thanks for reading, Penny.

  5. I’ve traveled to a few countries and many of them poor. I’ve discovered so many wonderful people and simple, wholesome ways of doing things, I’ve seriously considered not returning. I totally understand the well-expressed sentiment here. Wonderfully done!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hear you–sometimes it’s hard to come back.

  6. Just, just beautiful! Jewel box of stars…. I like almost every line in this story.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, you made my day. I hope you considering joining us sometime on!

  7. Beautifully written! Father’s plan backfired rather spectacularly.

    1. It certainly did backfire! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  8. Love your story – Keneilwe/ Margaret’s voice is so vibrant and liberated ! Full of excitement and possibilities. One in the eye for father’s expectations. So well written.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Francine!

  9. I really loved and connected with this. Very well done! ❤

    1. That is great to hear! Thank you so much, you made my day.

  10. I love this! Beautifully done, Karen.
    Sorry Father, you have lost this one…

    1. He has lost for sure! Thanks for reading Dale–so glad you liked it!

  11. As others have said, beautifully, delicately written. The voice and tone are perfect, just right for your character without being overblown or melodramatic. Really, just lovely Karen

    1. Thanks for your kind words Lynn, it means a lot!

  12. Such a gorgeous story of finding one’s self in the world. Loved it.

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