• Sophie The Duck


   Seven hours have passed and we still have not seen a tiger at the Ranthambore National Park in India. Deer and monkeys rest calmly in the shade of the trees showing no signs of fear. The open air jeep tosses us up and down, side to side over the uneven terrain.  Our eyes search the surrounding brown grass, but to no avail. We hear locals on motorbikes shout:

       “बाघ!” (Tiger!)

      As soon as we hear the word tiger, the jeep is placed in four wheel drive, and we race as fast as we can to a gate which is a mile away. We laugh so hard our sides aches and bugs flew into our mouth. Two other jeeps searching for a tiger follow behind, it was a race to see who could get to the gate first. We reach the gate and drive up an extremely steep, rocky path and stop to survey the gate from above. We get a funny feeling in our stomach that a tiger might be lurking in the thick bushes, waiting to pounce. But there is no sign of a tiger. With low spirits we drive back to a place where the guide knew a tiger might be hiding for a picnic. But, as we speed of to another area of the park, we catch a glimpse of a golden tiger laying in a creek we had passed several times. The drivers backs up near the brook, our hearts pounding, worrying the tiger might run away. We are now face to face with a large male tiger which has just eaten, its stomach so full it can barely walk. Breathing a sigh of relief we watch the majestic creature bathe in the water.

      When traveling you must have patience to deal with whatever obstacles may come. The same is when you write. It takes time to search for the perfect words to describe a scene or to find inspiration for a new book. Having hope that one day an editor or an agent may become interested in your work, is just like having hope you may find a tiger. But part of the journey is accepting the fact that you may not find an agent or a tiger. Your success will not be hidden forever, and just like the tiger, it will show it face in the most amazing way.

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