Saturday, 23 April 2016

T IS FOR TIGER : A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Day 20 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is:


'Wildlife Encounters'


This is an edited version of a piece of flash fiction I wrote for an online competition. It is loosely based on a real experience:

The tigress sat high on the ridge washing her face. She pricked her ears. The humans were stirring.
‘Hurry, hurry,’ said Ashok.
In the watery-grey dawn his guests bundled into the jeep.

‘Let’s go.’ Ashok threw the vehicle into gear and they were away, bumping along the rutted road at bone-rattling speed. The stinging winter wind snatched at their clothes. 




They slid to a halt at a waterhole. Ashok examined the sandy soil.
‘Look.’ He pointed at fresh pug marks. ‘The tiger was here last night.’
They raced on. A second waterhole yielded more evidence. Spotted deer barked in alarm. Ashok's head snapped up. He shot off in the direction of the barks, bouncing onto a corrugated track. 

Ashok braked. ‘Shh!’
The deer called again. They scanned the ridge with their binoculars and the tigress sat quietly in the impenetrable vegetation.
Ashok wobbled his head. 'Tiger's up there, laying still.'



The jeep wove up a steep track, negotiating fallen rocks, swaying tortuously. Ashok paused to listen for the alarm calls, pinpointing the cat’s position. As they closed in, she languidly rose and melted into the jungle.



My apologies for the quality of the tiger photos... but they were taken on genuine game drives in Rajasthan!


See you on Monday – I’m heading south west. Can you guess where and what the next animal will be?



If you want to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click HERE

39 comments:

  1. Whooppee... I win again! My percentages ate increasing!
    Mmmmm Monday... a whole weekend of wondering again. Head-wrecking!
    Ugandan Kob? Who knows?? ;-)
    AJ at Ouch My Back Hurts

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  2. Yes, you're doing well with your guesses.
    Small clue - you're too far west. :)

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    1. So I noticed... maybe we'll see you in Africa tomorrow!! ;-)

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  3. Tigers are so cool! I've seen one up close with only iron bars separating us. A family a couple miles from us has one.

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  4. Wonderfully written Susan. I felt the excitement as though I was right in the jeep with you!

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    1. Thanks, Sue. The experience was thrilling. Even if we only caught glimpses I'm happy, because it means far more to me to see a wild tiger who is free to live in it natural habitat instead of one in a cage.

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  5. My love for tigers was almost the death of me. As a wee child, I went with my kindergarten class to the Zoo. My mother was one of the volunteer helpers.

    I turned up missing, and my mother knew exactly where I had gone: the tiger enclosure. I loved tigers, slept with a huge stuffed one. Sure enough, when mother found me, I had squirmed beneath the barriers and over the railings, sliding down the embackment towards the tigers.

    What could she do? Once I got an idea in my head, I usually went with it. She smiled. She knew I believed her capable of anything.

    Mother called out, "You get back up here, Roland Durand Yeomans! Don't make me go down there and hurt those tigers!"

    And such was my belief in the awesomeness of my mother, I went back up to keep my beloved tigers safe from her!

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    1. Ye gods, Roland - that is some story! Your mother is an incredible woman (but I suspect you already know that). :)

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  6. That first photo is beautiful. I'd love to see that.

    @Kathleen01930
    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge

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  7. Thank you, Kathleen. There are some wonderful old forts in Rajasthan.

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  8. Ah, you're forgiven for the photo quality. Nice post!

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  9. Returning the favour of an A-Z visit. You have some wonderful photos on your posts. I have no idea what animal you might come up with for U.

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    1. Hi Wendy, thanks for dropping in and glad you like the photos... there are more good ones to come! :)

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  10. The photos are amazing precisely because they were taken of a tiger in its natural habitat by an "ordinary" (no offense) person instead of a pro. Someday I hope to go to Africa or India to see the wildlife.

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    1. Hi Li, thanks for dropping in. No offence taken - I took these photos in the days before I got involved in freelance travel writing. :)

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  11. Very, very cool! Tiger in the wild. Gives me goose pumps.

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    1. Thanks, Bish. Of all the big cats, the tiger was the one I most wanted to see and I got my wish twice. :)

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  12. What an adventure that was! So, the only animal I could think of that starts with U is unicorn. Wouldn't that be wild?

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    1. It was fantastic, Deb.
      A unicorn? Now that really would be something...

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  13. The photos are great as it is indicative of the desire to cut in with one's own. Tigers are menacingly adorable from a distance! Very true Susan!

    http://imagery77.blogspot.my/2016/04/karl-and-nik-of-flying-wallendas-haibun.html

    Hank

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    1. Thanks, Hank. Adorable at a distance - or from the safety of a vehicle. :)

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  14. Beautiful photos. It must have been amazing to see the tigers in the wild!

    I've wracked my brain and can't think of an animal that begins with U, so I look forward to seeing what it could be!

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. Thanks, Tracey.

      I hope you won't be disappointed with Monday's post - but I promise you it does begin with the letter U.

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  15. The photos are of secondary importance, Susan - you were there, you saw it!

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  16. WOW! I knew this woman in Cancun who'd go on photography safaris to Africa every year... Before I met her, I didn't even know that existed — but since then it's been on my bucket list. And now your posts have rekindled the urgency :)

    Happy A2Z day off, Susan! And thank you for your visits over at Life In Dogs. Love finding your name in the comments :)

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  17. Thanks, Guilie. There is absolutely nothing like seeing animals in the wild - both on the ground and in our oceans. If you can arrange to go on an African safari you won't regret it. :)

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  18. The pictures you created with your words more than sufficed! Terrific.

    Visit Keith's Ramblings

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    1. That's very kind of you, Keith - happy to entertain my fellow bloggers.

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  19. I like tigers, especially baby tigers, they're like all cats :)

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    1. Cubs... kittens... baby animals are always endearing, aren't they? :)

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  20. How exciting to see actually game hunt photos. Quite different than going to the zoo.

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  21. Totally different, Jeffrey - glad you enjoyed this post.

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  22. Tigers, SO beautiful. Wonderful to have any pictures at all! ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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  23. Tigers are my favourite big cats - incredibly beautiful animals!

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  24. To be able to see a tiger in their habitat is just wonderful. I don't have words but you must be treasuring these memories.

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  25. You're right, I do treasure these memories, Birgit. I wanted to see a wild tiger so much, I specifically travelled to India to do so and it took several days of intense game drives before I was successful.

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