Alert and watchful, I listen for the sign.
I hear the rustle of grass slowly waving in the wind. I hear the crackle of dry leaves moving across the ground. I hear the swaying of the branches of the giant pine close by. I hear the … wait … the sign … I hear the sign.
The hunt has begun.
Quickly I head toward the sign, and the sound of shots. I continue toward the shots, with a faster pace. There are two more shots, then it stops.
I stop and I listen. I listen for the rustle of the grass, the crackle of the leaves and yet all I get is the sound of silence. There is nothing to hear.
I am still as the granite rocks surrounding me. I wait for another sign. There is something out there; I hear it crashing through the brush. I smile, for unwittingly the hunter has become the hunted.
Stealthily I watch over my prey.
My prey, in return, looks for me. Slowly it starts to wander in the opposite direction. As it walks away, I slowly stalk it, one step at a time. Suddenly its head whips toward my direction, giving in to its sixth sense that someone is watching.
I stand still, not letting my prey notice me in any sense. Again it moves off, more cautiously than before.
I start to move in closer, grasping the intensity of the situation. In my sights is my prey, looking for me, not knowing that I am only a few feet away.
I raise my gun. I aim. I breathe in, holding that position for just the right moment. My finger is on the trigger, ready to fire.
SPLAT! I raise my hand to feel the wet, coolness of paint against my mask.
My prey turns and points to his partner, hidden behind a tree.
A well-laid trap.
Next time, I’ll get them both.