2012-06-10T10:40:22-07:00June 10th, 2012|Nature|

The unbearable inevitability of prey

A friend of mine showed me his photos from Africa
he had all the usual suspects
lions, zebras, antelope
but it’s the giraffes I want to see
I’ve always loved them
their tender heads
perched like an afterthought
too small and vulnerable
for that long thick neck.

I tell him the giraffe’s heart is two feet long
and that they only sleep half an hour a day
acting as a watchtower
for all the skittish beasts.

He asks me if I want to see a youtube clip
of a crocodile pulling a giraffe underwater
I’m supposed to say yes
the thrill of seeing animals eat each other
something sordid about it
us watching in our swivel chairs
while arteries gush.

I say I have to run
which is sort of true
I jog to my car
unsure why I feel so sad
I know the crocodile has to eat too
but I can’t stop thinking about the tickbird
that rides along on a giraffe’s back
did he fly away just before the water broke open
with that monstrous lunge of teeth
or did he hover above his tall friend
and wonder
as I always do
why an animal’s eyes always look so quiet
the moment it understands
it is being devoured.

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