Friday, March 9, 2001

Masai Mara, Kenya V

One eye stares blindly toward the sun, slowly fading gray as life ebbs and the gazelle’s ribs lay open. The cheetahs, still panting from the hunt, plunge their muzzles deep inside. If you’re a gazelle, I can’t imagine a more surpassingly bad end to your morning.

A small herd stood in the tall grass, idly grazing and unaware that death had come calling. Three cubs lay low, hidden as their mother was slinking closer, her movements lost in the swaying yellow grass. She bursts out in a blur, and in five steps the gazelle is down.

The cubs draw near and to my surprise the mother lets the gazelle run free. He stands up a little unsteadily, then tries to bolt. The cubs give quick chase, trying to follow their mother’s example. They succeed in knocking it down, but the lesson comes to an abrupt halt when they plunge in to feed.

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