It’s that time of year… good ol’ summer in the office.
The hours drag on a bit longer. The glances at the clock from your cubicle become more frequent. And your Google searches aren’t looking up the best place for happy hour… instead you’re looking up immunization shots you need for the Amazon. Who are you?
Maybe it’s the stillness of summer heat that makes you forgo- the usual Corona by the pool and instead crave whirlwind of an adventure.
But before you thrill-seeking enthusiasts hop on that plane, I suggest reading Alan Dean Foster’s adrenaline infused travel memoir, Predators I Have Known. Perhaps this is the excitement you’ve been yearning for; planet Earth’s most far-off, exotic locations featuring the most nature’s most ferocious predators.
Over the last forty years, Foster has trekked just about everywhere- from elephant rides across the plains of Central India in search of the elusive Bengal tiger to chasing great whites in the coastal waters of Australia.
The following is an excerpt from his pulse-pounding narrative from one of his brushes with life and death in the wild, an encounter with a pride of lions in 1993:
”…I found myself blinking. It had been a long, hot day. After witnessing the feeding, it would be good to get back to the room, lie down, and relax. Except for a few insects, there was little noise now and … The lions exploded… I don’t know how else to describe it. For nearly ten minutes, they had been staring at each other, their faces a couple of feet apart, virtually silent as each strained to take control of the evening meal from his brother when, without warning, they erupted in a sequence of roars, slaps, and violent contortions that were powerful enough to, as the learned sages used to say,freeze the blood.
As quickly as the eruption had taken place, it quieted.
One of the women had started to scream, and it had caught in her throat—a sound nearly as extraordinary as the one made by the two lions. Everyone, including me, had momentarily jerked slightly backward. Time, existence, the air…had for an instant been stopped. Then the lion brothers resumed their silent contest of strength and will, and a number of human bodies resumed their normal patterns of respiration. It was one of the most extraordinary couple of seconds I have ever experienced, vastly heightened by the fact that it occurred only a few feet in front of me.
Ever since, I have not been able to look at a lion, no matter how quiescent, or sleepy, or indifferent, or far away behind moat or bars in a zoo, in the same way again.”
Still itching for that African safari? If so, please live to tell the tale. And if Dean’s story hits close to home because you’ve experienced a similar adventure, tell us in the comments.
This spring, our friends over at Open Road Media are excited to know if you’ve ever had experienced a “flight by the seat of your pants” moment with a wild animal. They look forward to hearing all sorts of thrilling, fascinating and even terrifying adventures.
The commentator with the most interesting and engaging story will be deemed the winner on June 13th. He/she will also to win a free digital copy of “Predators I Have Known” and will be promoted on Open Road Media’s Facebook page, Alan Dean Foster’s Facebook page, Twitter, and Tumblr!
Details: One winner will be selected by Open Road Media from the comments below. One winner will be selected and given a digital copy of “Predators I Have Known”.
More information at: Open Road Media Authors.
The New York Times bestselling author of more than 110 books, Alan Dean Foster is one of the most prominent writers of modern science fiction and fantasy. Born in New York City in 1946, he studied filmmaking at UCLA, but first found success in 1968 when a horror magazine published one of his short stories. In 1972 he wrote his first novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, the first in his Pip and Flinx series featuring the Humanx Commonwealth, a universe he has explored in more than twenty-five novels. Foster also created the Spellsinger series and has written dozens of bestselling film novelizations, as well as the story for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. An avid world traveler, he chronicles some of his own adventures in the wild in his memoir, Open Road E-riginal Predators I Have Known (2011). Foster lives with his family in Prescott, Arizona.