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SPECTATORS ON THE AFRICAN PLAINS

We are, but spectators in the game of nature, on the African Plains, the great Serengeti. We see, we hear, but we cannot tell. We communicate with nature through our own actions, our interactions, as we see, touch and feel our way through nature. We cannot tell.

We see the herds of wildebeest feeding on the green grasses, playing with one another while others lay napping in wildebeestherdthe warmth of the afternoon sun. And yet, just in the open grasses, a lioness waits to select her prey, but we cannot tell. We cannot warn them, we are only spectators in this game called nature on the African Plains.

We see the lion lying low in the grass, inching ever closer in her stalking mode. She’s one of several. We see her, and we see the wildebeest. The wildebeest are clueless as they move about from patch to patch of green grass, unbeknownst to them that danger is just steps away.  They have grasped the spell yet, they haven’t been warned by the birds, and the other antelope that feed migrationwith them.  Their heads are buried in food.  Yet, we watch the lioness inch ever closer in the surrounding bush…each of those lioness’ with a different mission in mind. They have a system, they know what they are doing.  When spotted, the herds will run one way and will run right into a lioness.  Those lions are just social, they are clever, they are smart and they’ve got this hunting thing down pat.

Meanwhile, the herds of wildebeest and now zebra have joined them,  they have discovered, the grass really is greener on the other side! They move with ease across the road to the greener grass. The lions silently but patiently watch yet zebra herdmakes no movement. They are invisible, to all but us. The wildebeest, with their heads buried in grass seem to be oblivious to the lions until the scent is discovered. Then they begin to run.  We want to tell them, no, not that way, there’s a lioness in the grass, watch your babies, but we cannot tell.

As herds begin to disburse, then stampede, jumping over one another to escape the jaws of death, the young ones become disoriented and lose mama’s scent. They are doomed to a violent end of life , just as their life is beginning. Yes, we are spectators in this game called nature and it isn’t always pretty.

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