Waiting for the Cheetah to pass
Sometimes, there is no obvious answer. After the Cape Buffalo run, about a week later at dawn, a Tanzanian guide came running to my tent. He motioned to me “come quickly.” I ran after him to the main lodge. In back of the building was a long porch. Behind the porch was a stretch of mowed lawn. At the edge of the lawn was a sign “Danger Wild Animals.” Beyond the lawn was high grass. It was safe to walk on the lawn but not the high grass.
The guide said “go to the back of the building and look at the cheetah.” I ran to the back. I looked. I saw a cheetah in the high grass. I ran toward it but stayed on my side of the sign. All of a sudden the cheetah stopped. It moved onto the mowed grass. I realized that the cheetah could not read signs in English but only in Swahili. It turned around and looked at me. I didn’t know what to do. There was no obvious answer. I felt like a mouse. If I ran toward the cheetah it would run toward me. If I ran away again I feared it would run toward me. I felt like I was going to be converted into meat. It was a most unpleasant sensation. I froze. After an eternity, it moved on. No one was around. The guide had disappeared. The tour group had not gotten up. I felt very lucky to be alive. I learned that if there is no obvious answer, wait. An answer will emerge.