Each day rolling and stumbling over the quick earth. Man paths criss cross over my kingdom all over, all directions, like incessant searchlights, like the bright bright tracker light at night. His swinging arm fast left and right from the tracker seat. It’s an old seabed of time covered in grass and acacia bush and other plants I don’t really know the names of. I don’t bother with the plants, more a meat eater myself, and it has to be fresh mind, no more than a couple of days lying in the sun. Usually I don’t worry, if I don’t get to the kill in time, well there are others to finish things off. We’re all hungry and today has looked promising, but nothing… Everything this morning was good and fast and clever, and I guess we just have run out of luck. I am getting a bit old sure enough, but that is not the issue. No.. It’s the leg really… bastard…. My fault really. Getting a bit old, but then I tried to get in on the hunt for a small buffalo, and of course, messed it up. Should have left it to the girls. They would have had him. Instead we all go hungry, and I am here sitting on a lame leg with hurt pride.
Still yesterday we finished off the young elephant. Not much left of him now, since the young cubs and their mum finished off the remains. Something strange about the trunk though. Couldn’t eat it. Perhaps the calf was sick. Not sure. Told the young fuzzies,” leave the trunk for the buzzards.”
They’ve arrived. Took their time to find us. My lioness’ were a bit clever for them, led them off the usual track for a bit. But Sally with the spotlight is too good. Sally has been around, and she watches the other animal kind, who of course if you know are a dead giveaway for a kill. Sitting back in the shadows of the game. But there Sally was, sitting on the front of the truck in the tracker seat… So sure of her self and her triumph in finding us all. The newbies are sitting in the back seats, all eyes and cameras clicking. Somewhat scared of the whole thing. I sit there in the spotlight though. I’ve had enough for the day really. It’s the leg, a back one. I can walk ok, but don’t ask me to spend a lot of energy all at once now. The dust and cool earth is kinder at night. I’ll wait here a bit. Perhaps the females will get something soon. I have an idea about the mountain, but then that is at least 5 miles away across the plain. Still the spotlight shines. The newbies are taking snaps with their cameras and phones. The driver is explaining how life is out here. He knows a lot really, too much, it’s more than a game to this guy. He is a hunter, out to show he is smarter than any of us. Which he is. No question. He know’s his place. Never had to use the gun. Never even taken it out of the case in anger. But we become celebrities, the combination of Sally and Terestrius, the driver … it’s too much.
The girls of the pride had caught up, fantastic hunters, but getting lean and a bit mean after no real kills for a day or so. Everything was quiet really, with a bit of a buzz in the truck with the newbies, glad to have got to see us all. I looked over at them. The girl teenager in the middle of the truck looked away. A little frightened perhaps. Seeing me up close and personal after all this anticipation. Sally was still grinning a bit in the tracker chair out front.
Sally flick’s off the searchlight, and the drive off looking for the others.
Yes tonight, there won’t be any rest for us. We will be gone, and walking most of the night. I really don’t feel like it. It’s the leg really, but if I wait, what will happen ? Won’t one of my brother’s sons younger and faster, take his chance ? He will kill me for sure ? Take his chance for the pride. A good pride really but then again, only one can be king. Still I am not done yet. I will be miles away with the rest of them, up in the mountains before dawn and seeing what the light without the tourist trucks will bring. The light of a new hungry day looking down on the criss crossed tracks across my kingdom.