“Have a shell in the chamber and that we put all safeties on.”

“Ok, let’s do this,” I said.

 I motioned to Benga. We trade rifles. Makali leads on. The wind is still in our face, but now seems a little stronger. In the wind I am beginning to catch the smell of moss and animal dung. We are getting close to the waterhole. Makali points to a group of flat top acacia trees that have been partially stripped of bark by the elephant as they moved through. Makali looks at me and taps his left ear. I give a halt signal. We stop and listen. Over the sound of the robins, morning doves, and crickets, I hear the distant crack of branches breaking. The waterhole sits in a low spot that is not visible from where we are. The direction we are approaching is bringing us to a slight ‘rise’ in the terrain that will place the waterhole slightly below us as we get to its’ top. The edge in front of us is fairly dense with bushes and tall grass. I turn to the others and whisper.

 “We are very close. We will walk just a little closer than we will crawl to the bushes. Let’s all make sure we have a shell in the chamber and that we put all safeties on.”

 I begin to walk slowly forward. Makali taps his left ear again. I stop.

 “Listen, Bwana. Sound come from two places,” Makali says pointing ahead and then pointing slightly to the left.

“Oh, man, the herd is divided,” I whispered to Bryce and Miles. “Let’s stay on plan and move to top of the ridge and see what we can see. Let’s be careful to not get caught in the middle,” I added.


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