Day 6: Eye Contact

She stood, head reaching forward with her face in the pond as the swallowed water travels down her black and white stripped neck. She is the only one at the pond today, the silence making her suspicious, almost as if she knew what laid ahead.

He prowled slowly through the dead yellow grass, camouflaging his fur mane as best as he could. The secret to a good hunt was to wait until the last minute to reveal yourself. And he knew this, which is why he has never missed a meal. He had been stalking her for 40 minutes, watching her from afar as she ate shrubs, twigs and bark, patiently waiting for her to leave the herd in search of fresh water.

She scanned the field to see if one of her herd was approaching and there he was, crouching low in the grass. She saw him, and he saw her. Their eyes locking as time stood still. Neither wanted to make the first move, afraid of losing the game. The hot African sun was no bother to them, with the heat immensely increasing in the deadlock. She was thinking of her options and a way out, surely the herd was not far off.

He stood there, watching her, anticipating her next move. He knew he couldn’t lose her now, and he had to act fast before her herd approached. He knew he could take one, but a whole herd, that would be suicide. He kept his gaze on her, refusing to go hungry any longer. Now was the time.

She saw it in his eyes, the look of finality. She knew he was ready to make his move. She was trapped and had no choice but to continue to watch him.

He leapt up, and in that moment, a flock of birds flew from a nearby tree. He broke eye contact with her to evaluate the tree.

She knew this was it, now or never. She had to run, he was distracted, and she only had a few seconds.

He turned back to his prey and she was gone. He could see her, running off in the distance. She was too far gone. He must now find something else to eat.

Thank you for reading.

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