“The tree looks great, it is located in a perfect spot, by the river bank where lots of animals habitually come to drink water” – I say to myself with conviction. “Look at those branches, they are just perfect, not too high not to low, and wide enough to hold all the weight!” – I completed with anticipation.
“But where is it? Why is it not resting on the tree after having a succulent antelope for dinner? Maybe it is hiding in another tree and having a good laugh at me?” - I said with irritation. Then I immediately started to scrutinize all the trees in the river bank, convinced that I was going to find the leopard in one of them. I knew I couldn’t be wrong since I was thinking like a leopard and have no doubt that this was the place an astute, dangerous and successful leopard will choose.
Two hours passed by, then five hours passed by and no leopard to be seen close by… I could not understand what went wrong; I have taken all the facts into consideration, thinking and behaving like one. “So where is the damn leopard?” – I hastily exclaimed.
Feeling very let down I started the car and began to head back to the Lodge, still refusing to accept that I spent my day looking in the wrong places. But just a mile away from the Lodge, I spotted the sneaky leopard resting under the thick shadow of an acacia tree by the main trail. Without believing my eyes, I rushed toward the place and without thinking twice stopped the car and in anger said: “I was looking all over for you! You wasted my whole day because you decided to rest in the wrong place!”
“Who says this is the wrong place?” Replied the leopard, completely ignoring my fury and without moving an inch.
“Well, if I were a leopard I would have chosen to lay down under a nice tree by the river bank, with a perfect view of the animals that come down to drink, so I could carefully select the one I will be having for dinner. The place will be concealed enough, so very few smart tourists can find me and disturb me with their annoying will to take pictures of me. Believe me when I say that you are a disappointment as a leopard… you are having a siesta a mile away from the place full of tourists searching for you. No wonder I couldn’t find you!” – I ended saying with my best sarcastic tone
The leopard raises its head and with a strange glow in its eyes says: “You believe you know better than a leopard, because you try to wear my skin and walk in my paws; therefore you’re convinced a leopard must be as you assumed it has to be, based on your perception of what a leopard should be. But that is still your own way of seeing things, so don’t get the idea that most things are the way you see them. Laying here seems a very smart leopards’ idea, so far many humans have passed by my side without noticing me…. just like you, they all assumed they were leopards”
© 2010 Gabriela Abalo