Prior to the New Year my English friend Sara and her two daughters flew out to India to tour the subcontinent from the Himals to Goa. They landed in Delhi, traveled out to the Taj Mahal and the ghats of the Ganges before flying west to Rajahistan, the exotic desert province bordering the expansive and wild Thar Desert.
The guides organized a safari into the wastelands to sight a savage leopard.
The male of endangered big cats are over four feet long and weigh up to 170 pounds.
The predators feast on farm animals and compete with larger cats such as tigers and lions for hunting rights. Attacks on humans are rare and poachers have whittled the numbers of leopards down to 11,000. Villagers recognize the beauty of the leopards and usually allow the big cats to escape back into the forests rather than kill them.
"We didn't see any leopards," reported Sara back from her trip. "All we saw was dust."
"There's a lot of dust in the Thar."
"And not many leopards."
"And they didn't see you."
"A good thing for both of us. I don't think I would make good eating."
"I'm not so sure about that." Sara poked my gut.
"Well, better eating than you."
"I don't know. We women are made of sugar and spice and you men consist of snails and puppy dog tails."
"You're right about that."
"Nice and chewy."
Sara was old school. She liked cats. Big and small.
Love live the leopard.