As I gazed at the young tawny lioness I saw how innocent she was. I saw that the world had not yet shown her all of its beauty, nor its potential dark side.
I was watching her pad through the long, pale grass so carefully and silently, when suddenly a South African quail flew up frantically as a result of getting a fright from the playful, unknowing lioness. The bird zooms into the air as such speed that it crashes into the electric fence and tumbles to the floor.
Suddenly time stands still. I am looking at where the bird has fallen into the long grass, scanning the blades in the hope of seeing some movement from the small bird. My heart stops as I pray to see the ruffle of feathers.
Something makes me look up, as does the lioness on the other side of the fence. We gaze into each other’s eyes, hers much more beautiful than mine, but we both realise that our concerns are the same.
We continue to scan the grass, then look up at each other once more…is there hope? Surely life has not just stopped before our very eyes.
Again we gaze at each other, directly opposite with the bird’s falling spot in between…searching each other’s eyes for a glimmer of hope that the presence of the little bird is still upon us.
Once more we look down at the earth, both slightly raising our posture in time with our eyebrows in an attempt to see a little better, when suddenly we see our little feathered friend waddle out of the grass, happy as can be, before flying away.
For a final time I avert my gaze to my beautiful lioness as we both express a sigh of relief that all is good in our natural world at that moment.