When I was in Africa last year, a man told me about an incredible experience. The conversation went something like this.
The other day, the most extraordinary thing happened to me.
I suppose that you professional hunters have interesting experiences every day.
I'm not a professional hunter. Quite the contrary. My sport is to shoot at fixed targets a great distance away.
That seems like the best way to learn to shoot well.
Well, it didn't turn out to be. I've decided to quit hunting animals and go back to my own country.
I'll tell you. The other morning I was walking through the jungle and suddenly the blood froze in my veins.
Less than three meters away, hidden in the grass, was an enormous lion. With a terrible roar he leaped toward me with a great bound.
I kneeled down, aimed my rifle and shot. Boom. But as I had no practice at shooting at moving targets at such a short distance, I didn't hit him.
And you're still alive.
Only by the grace of God. You see, the lion made such a long leap that he went flying over my head and landed some five meters away from me.
What happened then?
Well, the other hunters came running and the lion quickly disappeared into the jungle.
And this experience cured you of hunting.
No, it was what I saw later that made me decide to quit hunting.
And what was that?
Listen. I returned to the camp and immediately began to practice shooting at moving targets at close range in order to be able to kill a lion if another one should attack me. One of the boys tossed tin cans into the air and I shot at it.
Yes, yes. Go on.
It was going well and I was beginning to get my confidence back. I believed that I already had the advantage over the lion and I was anxious to meet him again.
Then, what happened that made you decide to quit hunting?
Well I'll tell you. As soon as I stopped pracicing, I heard strange sounds coming from the jungle. I heard a boom, boom, boom.
What was it?
I looked up over the fence, and there at the edge of the jungle was the same lion.
And just seeing it was enough to make you decide to go back to your country?
No. It was what the lion was doing that made me decide.
What was that?
Believe it or not, the lion was practicing short jumps.