In the early morning mist a stifled distress call of an impala ewe echoed through the dry bush signaling her demise. The slender female leopard dragged it for a few hundred meters to a small rocky outcrop. She grunted once before her small offspring emerged from the rocks to join her.
She had provided for the young male once again, but things would eventually change. With every bite, rip and wrench the cub was taking his own small steps to independence. His body was growing bigger and his mind was getting sharper. He had long since begun the journey of his own one life.
As Buddha so profoundly put, “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” Perhaps this young leopard will grow up quickly, perhaps he will suffer the same innocent fate as others before him. If he does live, however, he will be the master of his own destiny. No one will have saved him but himself. No one will have walked his path. No one would have chosen to live his life but he.
This leopard has one life. Though it is still an early, misty morning in his life, it is the character of the animal and the strength of his will that determines whether he walks his own path or perishes. The Londolozi family will continue to watch with admiration and awe nonetheless.