Monday, March 30, 2009

Paul

9,050 square kilometers of forest, and he knows it all like the back of his hand. He’ll stop where you can see nothing and point out a fist-sized bird with a lion-size name, telling you what it eats, where it sleeps, how it hatches its eggs, and possibly, if you press a little, its horoscope as well.

In the dark, he’ll hear a grunt and tell you that’s a leopard’s mating call. He’ll even ensure you look in the right direction and spot the spots, waiting while you take photos, softly explaining what’s going on.

50 meters from well-fed lions, he’ll pick up a recently gnawed-at zebra leg and hold it up for you to inspect from the safety of your car, smilingly confident that he can leap onto the car and drive away if a yellow-eyed predator comes charging out at him.

In the blackness of night he will remind you to look up and point out the Southern Cross as starry sawdust litters the sky.

In his entire life he has been away from the forest for only 3 weeks, to a nearby city.

So I was really disappointed when he told me that in those 3 weeks he’d not missed the forest at all. It would have been so much more romantic if he’d said he couldn’t sleep all those nights rather than that he enjoyed visiting the clubs.

But that’s what makes him human.

7 comments:

SBora said...

hey welcome back....
which forest park did you visit?

Anamika said...

u are back !!! I deserve some loyalty points for checking almost everyday all this while :)
Great comeback post.

Thinking Cramps said...

Hey Suku: This was the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. What an experience - will write more about it.

Anamika: Thanks. And as a namesake, such loyalty is only to be expected ;)

Tharini said...

Wow! Zambia??? When did you go?

(Btw, see how punctuation-ally correct I was...with the space and all? :D)

Thinking Cramps said...

Tharini: We were away from 20th to 29th March, so it's still very fresh in my mind! And, thanks for all the correct punctuation ;)

eve's lungs said...

Hey how come all these posts never showed up when I linked to your site? Very Hemingway-your travels, ? Did you carry anything by him along with you?!

Thinking Cramps said...

Eve's Lungs: That's odd. Maybe you need to click ctrl+F5? That clears the cache. Nah, no Hemingway, just the checklist where I dutifully ticked off each bit of flora and fauna I identified.