Beauty and The Beast


Elinor bends her wobbly knees and leans her long sinuous neck over the water hole,
languidly studying her reflected image, oblivious to the rustling grass behind her.
Large soulful eyes and fluttering eyelashes topped by a two-pronged crown of buff horns
float on the mirror surface.
“Is there any lovelier face in the jungle?”

From the bush, Leo watches stealthily, whiskers a twitch, muscles rippling with tension,
tail nervously whipping his flanks.
“What a fine meal for my family.”
A pink tongue curls over his lips.
A swish, a pounce, a cry.
His paws push her down, her neck between his gleaming teeth.
The water ripples with her startled eyes, glossy in death.

Bang. A shot ring outs from the sequestered Landrover.
Leo falls in the water with a splash.

Beauties beware of beasts in the jungle.
Hunters beware of becoming the prey.

Marguerite Welch 2018