I always try to be aware of what is around me when in Africa among the wildlife. Animals of all kind are assuredly lurking, waiting for an opportunity of one kind or another. I don't want to be that opportunity. But sometimes I lose myself in my book, journal, in the scenery or just in nothingness.
One late afternoon after a brilliant day in Samburu, Kenya at the Samburu Lodge I was sitting on a lower level patio filled with chairs and tables watching day turn to night. There was a metal railing about three feet high around the dining area. I was sitting facing the river that was flowing by which meant to my right was the location of the nightly crocodile feeding where the biggest crocodile I had ever seen had been waiting now for hours for the feeding as I am told he did daily. There was a sign on the railing just in front of him that said, “Beware of Crocodile”. On the crocodiles' side of the sign it said, “Beware of Humans”.
I ordered a cocktail and a snack and got lost writing in my journal. In my peripheral vision I saw movement under my table just as I was about to take a sip of my drink. In the blink of an eye, I saw a curled-up tail and realized there was a cat under my table. My mind thought the worst, leopard or lion. I jumped up in fear and tripped over my chair. My hand continued its grip on my glass, but the contents went flying toward and splashing onto the crocodiles' face. My noise and the drink caused the crocodile to begin to stir. Now I had a pissed off crocodile on my right with a railing in between and some kind of cat nearby
The cat turned out to be a genet, a small fox like creature. He was harmless. If I had been a bit more vigilant, I would have seen him enter the area and chilled watching him.
Instead, I was out one drink, a bit embarrassed and completely apologetic to Mister Crocodile.