Friday, February 27, 2015

People often asked him which of all the creatures encountered in his many years as a hunter and dweller, in far-away places of Africa, he found most impressive. Always he answered that it would have to be a bird of some kind. This never failed to surprise them, because people are apt to be dazzled by physical power, size, frightfulness, and they expected him to say an elephant, lion, buffalo or some other imposing animal. But he stuck to his answer; there was nothing more wonderful in Africa than its birds. I asked why precisely. He paused and drew a circle with his finger in the red sand in front of him before saying that it was for many reasons, but in the first place because birds flew. He said it in such a way that I felt I had never before experienced fully the wonder of birds flying. 

     – Laurens Van Der Post, from The Heart of the Hunter

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