Places With No Roads to Them
...Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today; And give us not to think so far away... Robert Frost
The lesser kudu cautiously tip-toed into the clearing around the muddy waterhole. We froze as the male stared right at us. Somehow he didn’t see us and followed his little harem and young nibbling at some Cordia. Our senses keen our footsteps sounded much louder than they were as we shadowed them. The slight breeze in our faces was perfect as we took cover in a Gardenia overlooking the waterhole. The 4 kudu we had followed were joined by 5 more, including a beautiful male and they nervously drank from the left-over rain water. A sausage tree spread its dark green leaves and we hoped the shy antelope would come towards us to feed on the flowers that lay scattered at the bottom.
Startled, the kudu barked- a false alarm as a female waterbuck walked into the water with her calf, then the low rumble that only elephants can make. We huddled a little closer as a young male marched onto the scene. Acting as if he owned the place, he marched into the water then suddenly realizing he was alone turned and ran back to the matriarch who had appeared with her two other young. We could hear them breathe and the sounds of camera shutters sounded as loud as gunshots. Silently they turned to face us as if to follow the path we had come in on. We whispered to keep still and keep quiet when they too changed their plan and as silently as they’d arrived, disappeared.