The Hunter Becomes

A gentle breeze sweeps across the Karana plains. The scent of wildflowers in the air. I sit on the hillside admiring the simple beauty of the world. The quiet. The sunlight. A child plays near his mother at the edge of the tall grass. And the birds stop singing.

My eyes snap open and quickly look for the cause of the jarring disturbance of nature.

The winds grows stronger, blowing directly in my face. A dangerous smell rides upon it. The tall grass rolls like waves in the ocean, and for a moment reveal a dark shape hiding within.

Without thought or hesitation, I move toward the shape which itself moves toward the edge of the tall grass, toward the child and his mother.

Tearing through the tall grass, it rips at my skin. The shape taking sharper form with every step I take. The lion has chosen her prey. she has hunted and stalked it. And as I chase it down, the hunter becomes the hunted.

Just as I reach it, the lion begins its strike. My body slams hard into the side of this beast. My arms wrap around the throat of this monster. My hands grip the sides of its head and pull.

Our colliding momentum sends us rolling. The lion lets slip a choked roar. I yell out a warning to mother and child. We roll through the grass, the lion and I. His claws desperatly seeking purchase in either the ground or my flesh. His body crushes me as we roll. My arms around his throat, my hand in his main, still pulling, still twisting.

Finally, the crack of bone that I sought comes and the lion twitches a moment in the grass. I spare a glass over my shoulder, mother and child have gone. And the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Without thought or hesitation, I dive forward and roll through the tall grass. The griffin’s claws swiping at the air where I stood. I follow the roll on to my feet and run.

The hunter becomes the hunted.

-2 Jun 2003

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