Since he DID win (congrats to him), and since I had a bet with AFTLadybug on the election results, looks like I owe her a story.(My payment for betting on the wrong candidate.)
Here you go, my friend…
Easy Target ~by Amber Brock
Imagine yourself amidst a vast African savanna. You are a beautiful Kudu, a brush antelope. Dusty brown in color, with small caged white lines in your fur, which encases your stocky body, one built for the run across miles of immense wilderness plains.
And the African savanna is nothing if not immense.
It is an amazingly hot day, grazing day out on the savanna. Dozens of big, brown and burly Cape Buffalo, who have had enough of the heat, herd slowly in the direction of the watering hole and with a single-minded determination, which only big, horned bulls can pull off. Giraffes forage near a tree thicket, but soon leave their shadowed tree-covered grove to amble their own way, now just as desperate for a drink. Gazelles socialize with a large herd of Zebras, and they wander through the brush. They too hear the cool waters calling and set out to follow behind the Buffalo and the Giraffes, all intent on the same destination.
The sky is a startling blue today and the sun is shining. It’s a scorching day. Sweltering. The heat is almost too unbearable to suffer; however nothing that a quick, cool gulp of water wouldn’t cure.
You too begin to make your way towards the watering hole. Your mind utterly focused on your destination now, and your immediate, growing need, for a cooling drink as the African sun beats down, unrelenting, upon you.
The need for water has become an almost all-encompassing, living, breathing entity.
So focused are you on your need for relief, and in your rush to catch up to the others, you neglect to see how close you are to a particularly nasty thicket and a thick thorn painfully wedges itself right above your hoof.
Now, not only are you hot, dying of thirst, but you are now hobbled as well.
And quickly falling behind.
The animals up ahead of you now begin to break slightly to the right, instead of continuing on the obvious direct pathway towards the watering hole, they take a detour. In unison, they go the long way around a dense cluster of tress, surround by a jutting outcropping of rocks, instead of venturing directly to the watering hole immediately on the pathway to their left.
You find yourself slowly approaching this crossroads.
Do you break with the group and continue on the direct-most path towards the watering hole, or do you flow with the herd?
Dolts, the lot of them—Why didn’t they just take the shorter path? They could be there by now, enjoying the crisp, cool waters!
Taking the path to the right would add far too much time and trouble to your endeavor, the pathway to the left is ever so much quicker.
Plus, your foot hurts.
On top of all that, as if that wasn’t enough, you know that it is bound to be crowded at the watering hole, if you ever get there, should you go the way of the herd.
Why not take the path of least resistance?
You are, after all, in a hurry and in pain. Seriously–how could showing a little time-saving ingenuity hurt?
The wind slightly stirs, dancing atop the tips of the grassy plains. Your already laborious steps slow, your first few steps on the pathway to the left.
Was that a soft growl you heard? Or was it just the wind?
You look around you quickly, but see nothing but a tree-shadowed, thicket-cloaked outcropping of rock just to your right. And the vast, empty, expansive savanna which now surrounds you, both behind you and to your left.
You are all alone. A fact which now bristles the hair on the back of your neck to stand on end. You take a quick, tentative step back as a sudden, inexplicable fear settles in. Your heart speeds up.
You cannot see it, you cannot hear it, you cannot smell it, but oh, you can feel it.
Almost immediately you flinch when your hobbled leg protests the quick movement back in retreat, and brings your mind back to the present.
Sure, you could turn back easily. Turn back and go the way of the others, the detoured route around the outcropping rock to the watering hole. A watering hole now probably crowed to the point where any enjoyment to be had, of basking in the cool waters on a hot savanna day, can go the way of hippo poo…
Carelessly swatted away, with so much as a flick of a tail.
You could continue onward. The calming, cool oasis of the water hole is just up ahead, only a few feet really. And since you don’t actually physically register any real and present danger, with any of your five senses, or have a rational explanation for the burst of inexplicable fear you felt earlier, you discount it. You dismiss it completely.
The water is calling you.
Relief is just up ahead.
There is absolutely nothing to fear. Any ‘uneasy ‘ feeling you felt just seconds ago, you tell yourself, was all in your mind…
RIP beautiful Kudu, who never made it to the watering hole & was in fact eaten by a Cheetah.
A Cheetah who had been perched in a tree by the jutting, outcropping of rock…
Just waiting for?
An Easy Target.
Just because I am that magnanimous?
I will give you TWO:
Know By Intuition ~by Amber BrockThe scent of the Kudu carrion covered the African savanna.
You took in one cool gulp of water from the watering hole, and dodged a leaping, frightened fish, before you raised your head and looked quickly about. You felt bad for the Kudu, sure you did, but as a Gazelle, you were well aware these things sometimes happen. And they happened here, on the African savanna, especially if you were not prepared for them.
You eyed the water suspiciously when dozens of fish took to the air to your left, and counteracted by side-stepping a bit more to the right.
You bumped into an oblivious Zebra, calmly drinking water. Blind to the goings-on around him.
As one of the elder, more respected Gazelles in your herd, you’ve been around the savanna once or twice and you can pretty well instinctively predict how such instances would now play out.
After all, accurately predicting certain outcomes has helped you stay alive.
Once again you dodge an airborne fish.
You stepped back quickly from the watering hole, and walked to stand at the opposite side of a Zebra immediately to your right. You adjusted your position to one a bit more secure. You took your position once again at the watering hole, with a Zebra between you and the ‘flying fish’ and lowered your head and began to drink.
In regards to the death of the Kudu?
Oh, never doubt that more predators would soon descend.
The scent of carrion would bring them all in droves: Lions, Hyenas and Bears – Oh, my!
OK. Maybe not the bears, wrong latitude, but you get the picture.
Pretty much if a predator eats meat, is hungry and had a good sense of smell? It would travel to this location, and quickly, to see if they could take advantage and try to steal a free meal.
You eyed the water once more, and took one final drink. You took in as much cool water as you possibly could, to sustain you this hot summer day, because you knew it was time to make your escape before the other predators got there.
And they were coming.
A long, distant roar of a lion was carried to your ears on the sweltering savanna wind.
The hair on your neck stood up in an escalation fear.
Many of the other animals, which surrounded the watering hole, seemed to have come to the same conclusion. They heard the same sounds, felt the same fear and they began to withdraw to make their much needed escape.
Time was of the essence now.
Despite the hotness of the punishing savanna day, there was now no time left to linger in the cool oasis of these waters.
The immediacy of imminent danger drew ever closer.
Giraffes began to break from the pack and started to head the long way around the watering hole, to escape the proximity of the scent of carrion which lingered dangerously in the air. Cape buffalo, no fools, lumbered behind them.
The Zebras decided to take the fastest, most expedient route away from the smell of the carrion and put as much distance between them and the predators that approached from behind, as quickly as possible… And they decided to do this by physically crossing a shallow section of the watering hole.
For, while it was true that dozens of possible predators approached from the rear, unfortunately for the Zebras, there were some predators that were already there.
The current of the water seemed to shift against the wind.
You intuitively knew what was to come. Your Gazelle mind already pieced together all the pieces of the puzzle, which was why you didn’t brave the waters yourself, even before you consciously accept the ‘why’ of it.
You turned to follow the way of the Cape Buffalo and the Giraffe, the ‘long way’ or no. When the first “SNAP!” sounded, soon followed by a whinny of anguish, you didn’t need to turn and see what had happened, you now already knew.
For you see, you didn’t have to see the eyes that lurked beneath the ripples in the water to know that they were there. The ripples were enough. Just as the rapid multiply elongated dark shadows beneath the already dark surface, were enough; the hot day, the cool water, the leaping frightful fish, the heady smell of the carrion and the positioning of numerous prey items just waiting to be taken along the waters edge?
The conditions were too perfect for them not to be near.
This clear and present danger you did not need to see beforehand to know, for what you knew, you simply knew by intuition.
You knew what the unfortunate Zebras had just found out: The Crocodile did not have to make a long journey in order to try to take advantage of a meal.
You see, the Crocodile?
They had been there waiting all along.
You were not specific regarding the storyline topic.
I figured the whole ‘circle of life’ theme would work in this instance.
Cause I definitely feel life I just got munched on a bit.
Anyway, congrats to you AFTLadybug, for being right on your prediction. Hope you enjoyed your winnings!
And congrats to President Obama.