Silent killers hard to find… an extract from my book…

Don’t critique the extract..!!! oh go on have some fun critique it, the Editor has not got her hands on this piece yet so I’m not even sure how it will end up. But one thing I can guarantee it will be better than this. I just want to whet your appetite for more…..

a

Leopard are a much sought after sighting.

The leopard crouched in the grass his head the height of the longer blades, well camouflaged from his prey, the grazing Impala herd thirty metres away. He crept forward silently approaching, ne’er a sound, not a dry leaf nor a twig broken a quiet, stealthy, leopard creep forward. Massive claws retracted, ready for extension when called to action, anticipation of a meal clear in his head.

The Impala not far from his favourite tree was a bonus, a quick kill and up the tree with the rewards of an uninterrupted meal, no lion or hyena to share this prize. His forward progress watched by visitors in their cars, silent as not to disturb the spectacular occurrence they’re about to witness. His approach slow and hesitant, not wanting to warn of his coming, the last crouch, rear legs coiled beneath him ready for the sprint and jump.

Then it happened, the burst forward, the charge lightning fast, the Impala caught off guard spring in all directions. The leopard concentrating on his selected prey closes, springs and locks claws into the neck area landing on the back of the chosen one. The front claws lock on the neck, the back tripping the frightened buck, down into a dusty mêlée of rolling buck and cat. The clamping of the cat’s jaw on the neck insures asphyxiation, the rear legs of the leopard ensuring the flying hooves of his prey do not disembowel him.

Finally, the impala dies, the cat rises panting from the exhausting effort required, looking around to watch for the opportunists that often rob him of his kill. None spotted, he spends time collecting his breath and renewing his strength. At last rejuvenated from the effort he collects his reward dragging it between his legs back towards his tree next to the road. Effortlessly he crouches and springs, front legs splayed each side of the kill and claws his way up the tree. It all seems so effortless, an impala ram weighing nearly the same as the leopard hoisted to a good height and wedge in a spot chosen to make sure the prey isn’t dislodged.

He settles next to his prey and begins to disembowel the buck, chewing and swallowing, enjoying the fruits of a successful hunt. A meal he will continue to eat for a few days, whilst lodged in his pantry forked branch. A belly full consumed, time for a rest on a branch not far from the carcass, later down the tree again for a drink in the nearby river, then back to protect his meal.

How much of this did I witness? None.

We drove down a dirt road and met with a “car park” full of vehicles, the occupants all looking into the tree were the leopard and its kill were situated. But my imagination, ran riot, as I pictured the events leading up to this fantastic sighting of a rarely seen occurrence, in the Kruger National Park.

We were fortunate to see this and to get photographs of the animal, one of which I have attached to this article. I have visited the Park on more than 100 occasions and only on a few that I could count on one hand have I been privileged to see a leopard on its kill, and less, so close to the road.

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57 thoughts on “Silent killers hard to find… an extract from my book…

  1. You had me there Bulldog! I adore leopards and I love the way your imagination took over for this story, all great fodder for your writing, as witnessed here in this post, and for your book. Beautiful photo too, loved it and the way it ended. What an amazing experience.

  2. If this is an example of how you are writing your book it is sure to be successful. You write well and capture the attention of your reader. And the subject matter is of great interest to many people! I would definitely buy the whole book!

  3. Wonderful description of a kill, I’m glad I read it because I’m not sure I could watch it. And what a great surprise to admit you weren’t there, that makes the story more fun. I love leopards, and actually spotted a couple while in Tanzania (when we’d been told they were in the area), chui is the word for them in Swahili, so our guide called me mama chui!
    Brenda

  4. With each of these snippets from your book, I grow more and more excited. The imagery you present here is quite incredible for someone who was not a first-hand witness. That is truly a sign of a good writer. It may need some slight editing, but nothing major. I thought is was wonderful, and in truth, would buy it as is. As I have said before, I cannot wait to have this book in my home!! It will never just gather dust, I can assure you!! Happy Monday, Dear Friend!

  5. Even before you got to that part in the story, I was impressed with the idea that the leopard would drag the impala up the tree. Then you described him doing that…then you said you didn’t see it…so, do they really drag there catch up the tree? If so, I am impressed, way beyond what I have seen of them during the hunt…now that is one strong cat!

    • I have revised an older post to re-post tomorrow showing the kill in the tree… yes that is their normal practice, kill, get it up a tree or lose the meal. If they remain on the ground the lion and hyena will steal their meal from them. They can actually climb, dragging prey almost twice their own weight, up a vertical tree with no low branches… a strong magnificent cat if there ever was one… Thanks Mrs P.

  6. Goodness if I had to work that hard to eat I would starve. We spied a leopard in a tree, but it was only napping. didn’t see any prey. Not sure I would want to witness the actual kill–I wouldn’t know who to cheer for.

    • I have never seen a leopard kill in action, but have seen many captured on film or video. It is the most efficient killing machine to watch, for such a small cat to see it bring down an impala ram and kill it without being disemboweled by flying sharp hooves is a sight to see…
      I have only been privileged to see them with a kill in a tree, but how I would love to witness a kill first hand…

  7. Interesting.
    Please continue.

    I’m not sure that ‘seen scene’ – two words sounding the same works for me, Bulldog.

    Love the photo.

    I’m a peace, calm, meditative sort of ‘gal’.

  8. It does sound that you saw this all, you are fantastic describing it. You surely know Wilbur Smith, all I know from Africa and its landscape is from his books, so well decribed as I was there. You do the same! Will be a great book!

    • Thank you Ute… I know of Wilber and have read all his books.,… another very like him that also writes about Africa is Tony Park oh so good at describing the Africa experience… glad you enjoyed my little piece that still needs editing…

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