Sit Silent in the Tall Grass


[Day 21 of the 31 Days of Poetry]







The lurking leopard lies in wait, hungry to the point of weakness for his next meal, but ever patient, watchful, ready. 


The leopard does not go out chasing his prey. He could. The leopard could launch off the ground with powerful leg muscles into the air in the blink of an eye. 


The leopard can hunt down his prey and jump its hindquarters, dragging down a wildebeest, impala, or even a young foal zebra.


In an instant the leopard would be on top of the creature while it was still reeling from the pain of the claw marks scratched into the its haunches. 


The animal begins to thrash wildly, desperate to hold on to control, to life.  But it is not to be, as the leopard takes the creature by the throat.  


You might think the large predator would rip out his victim's throat with his razor-sharp fangs, but instead the leopard suffocates his victim. 


It may thrash about, but soon comes submission, and the prey spends its last few moments with its conqueror almost intimately, in a slow ride from this plain into shadow. 




So that's one way. 




Even with powerful, controlled strides, excellent closing speed, and a viciously perfected killing technique, the leopard prefers to watch his victims first, without being seen, drawing ever closer. Leopards are master stalkers, and when inclined love to glide through the brush and slide over rocks, blending in so completely they simply disappear. 


The leopard can creep right up to his victims unawares until the creature can literally feel hot hungry breath on its neck. 


Given the choice, the leopard would rather risk losing a kill than to forgo the seduction of stalking, the dance of death that fulfills a need within the predator as deep as the sustenance that sustains him. 




So that's another way. 




But the third way the leopard has of taking his victims is by far his favorite, though it is very rare indeed. A leopard loves nothing more than to sit silent in the tall grass and wait. 


Perfectly still, mastering his carnal urges to kill and feed, the leopard will lie in ambush, allowing his prey to walk right up to him, never realizing the peril. 


Only when the prey is literally within the leopard's grasp does he spring, and take what is his, what he waited so long to devour. 









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