startling banals

03 April 2008

"Out on the safaris, I had seen a herd of buffalo, one hundred and twenty-nine of them, come out of the morning mist under a copper sky, one by one, as if the dark and massive, iron-like animals with the mighty, horizontally swung arms were not approaching, but were being created before my eyes and sent out as they were finished. I had seen a herd of elephants travelling through the dense native forest, where the sunlight is strewn between the thick creepers in small spots and patches, pacing along as if they had an appointment at the end of the world...I had time after time watched the progression across the plain of the giraffe, in their queer, inimitable, vegetative gracefulness, as if it were not a herd of animals but a family of rare, long-stemmed, speckled gigantic flowers slowly advancing. I had followed two rhinos on their morning promenade, when they were sniffing and snorting in the air of the dawn...and looked like two very big angular stones rollicking in the long valley and enjoying life together. I had seen the royal lion, before sunrise, below a waning moon, crossing the gray plain on his way home from the kill, drawing a dark wake in the silvery grass, his face still red up to the ears, or during the midday siesta, when he reposed contentedly in the midst of his family..." -Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen


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