Cloak of Darkness
from the book, "Petrified Lightning"

Petrified Lightning

Cloak of Darkness

Television frequently offers documentaries on African wildlife. When prey animals such as

the antelope are featured, one can clearly see that caution, vigilance, and the

ability to make a hasty retreat are basic to the life and well—being of these

creatures. Their eyes, wide open, are constantly darting in every direction;

their large ears move continuously—forward, to the side, to the rear—straining

for the slightest sound of an approaching predator. This watchfulness is

constant; even as they feed, antelope will take a quick bite or nibble on

vegetation and then resume the alert scan of the territory while chewing.

Still, scarcely a day passes without one or more of their number being pulled

down by some carnivore or other.

Many predators, including lions, hyenas, and leopards, are nocturnal and therefore

do most of their hunting after darkness falls. As the shadows lengthen toward

evening, the animal's alertness increases dramatically; it knows the hunter is

hidden under the cloak of darkness. So, relying on its well—developed sense of

hearing, the antelope never sleeps more than two or three minutes at a time.

With the approach of daylight, a wave of temporary relief must flow through prey

animals. Shadows no longer hide the threat of death, and they may now dare to

lean over a water hole for a drink.

Is it any wonder that primitive humans worshiped the sun!