Reptilian Log stalks Nyala bull; Warthog watches!
Sitting on Chilo Gorge deck with binoculars, I scale across the fast-flowing brown water and up and down the far river bank to see what I can see. The Albida tree where I often see a Pels owl go to roost in the early hours of the morning is leafless at this time of year, no refuge for an owl, so I pass over it….
A faintly disturbing log lies in deep grass on the steep bank of the far shore, and browsing nearby is a plump warthog, busily mowing the succulent grass. Two young Nyala bulls hover in the deep shadows of the evergreen shrubs.
Something about that huge, omnipresent log……something pulls my eyes back to it and I begin to discern scales, a tail, possible legs…
Mr. Warthog munches away steadily, drifting away from the vicinity of the log, and one Nyala steps out, moving past and further on up the bank. The second Nyala tentatively steps out, one step towards my ‘log’.
I hold my breath, binoculars trembling slightly. The size of this log, even from my distance, is immense…it is 14 feet long at least! The clever Nyala seems to echo my trembling, standing one foreleg poised and muzzle stretched out, staring….
Wah! All at once the log opens yellow-lined jaws wide! The Nyala steps backwards, one step, two steps, with a mesmerized Mr. Warthog staring on…and the gigantic crocodile starts advancing ponderously up the bank towards the Nyala who wisely bounces well out of the way.
Now the leviathan turns sideways, facing along the steep bank rather than up it, and settles into the grass again, becoming more like a log than ever….
Mr. Warthog decides discretion is the better part of valour and dashes off, balls bouncing…..