The sun hung low in the African sky;
The water hole mirrored its light from on high.
A mangy old lion limped haltingly in;
He was almost blind and was stiff, weak and thin.
Once he was young with strength and skill,
And he was the one who made the kill.
For many years he had ruled the pride,
But now he was old and they forced him aside.
The kills were controlled by the young and strong,
And to get what was left he waited long.
His chance to survive grew slimmer each day.
If he wanted to live he must find a new way.
Experience had taught him a trick or two.
There was one thing left that he might do.
Down by the water hole he could wait
Where a beast of prey might come in late.
One that was crippled and old as he,
That he might catch before it could flee.
Surely enough as he hid in the grass
The thing he hoped for had come to pass.
The antelope here had watered and gone
But a grizzled old buck had lingered on.
He had waited a distance away from the throng
Lest he might suffere from antler and prong.
The buck came cautiously up to the pool,
Lowered his head to the water cool.
Then seeing the lion move stealthier near
He galloped away in panic and fear.
Soon he had reached the top of his speed
But a sharp little dip he neglected to heed.
He stumbled, then flipped and broke his neck
And thus he ended his brief little treck.
The lion had leaped, then he groaned with a start;
A long pointed antler had punctured his heart.
Then suddenly all was quiet about;
The balance of nature again cancelled out.