Brief Encounter

steenbok-by-nigel-whitehead-on-safari-wildlife-photography.jpg
Steenbok ©2015 Nigel Whitehead On-Safari Wildlife Photography

The sun is low in the sky, but the baked-on heat of the day throbs out of the concrete stoep.  The bush sings with insects.  I sip my sundowner slowly, the sharp, grassy taste lingering on my tongue, the liquid cool in my throat.  Condensation beads on the glass and drips drops of fine rain on my bare knees.  Wood-smoke from someone’s early evening braai wrinkles my nose.

The thicket rustles and a tiny antelope appears in the small clearing beyond the stoep.  He sees me and freezes.  I keep still-still not wanting to frighten him.  We stare at each other.  I hardly dare breathe.  He is so close, so wild and timid.  Motionless, our eyes locked together, a minute passes, two…

‘Top up?’ a large hand holding a green bottle accompanies the question.  The little animal starts and skips off into the bush.  The spell is broken.

©2018 Chris Hall

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