We reached a dusty clearing close to sunset. I was filled at once with awe and terror. The late sun has turned the clearing into a field of gold. Less than five feet away, basking in that golden light, was a full grown lion, looking every inch a sovereign. The light had turned his tawny skin into burnished gold. His great sinewy body was languidly stretched out under a thorny tree. He must have been a good six feet long. Under the calm exterior, I sensed a ruthless hunter; calculated and swift. This was no hotheaded prince, this was a king! A king whose exploits are so well know that he seldom needed to bestir himself and go accomplish anything anymore. The slight evening breeze ruffled his magnificent mane, as he deigned to look at us – petty humans; unworthy of his attention. It was easy to see now, why a group of lions is called a “pride”.
He yawned, as though only to display his ferocious maw. His amber eyes shone as they catch the light and he squints, with the faintest sign of annoyance. We knew it is time to leave when a deep throaty rumble, reverberated through the clearing. The open jeep offered little protection against his might.My driver laughed!! I let the glorious forest of Gir and its royalty sink into me as we drove back to the jungles of man.