My most remarkable experience in Tim's company had nothing to do with elephants except that we were looking for them at the time. Instead, we came upon a young male lion with two lionesses. They were working their way toward a Masai and his herd of cattle. As they drew closer, they began to belly along through the grass, then crouched to eye the cattle. The young male started growling. His tail switched with excitement. He half-rose to coil for a running start several times.

"We'd better help that man," I said.

"No," Tim said firmly. "He knows the lions are there. This is for him to do. He would not want us to interfere."

The herder stood staring straight at the cats and slowly raised his spear to a throwing position without once moving his gaze away. From a distance, other herders who had noticed the man's posture drew nearer to watch the stand-off, but not too near.

They, too, thought that this was for him to do. This was what he had been trained for as a moran. Each time the male lion growled and poised itself, the man would shake his spear and spread his stance a bit. Each time the cat was still, the man was still, matching the animal's steadfast, golden-eyed stare. The stand-off continued for a quarter of an hour. At last, the lions crouched away into a line of thornscrub. Had the herder communicated the slightest hesitation or fear, I think they would have gone for his cattle in a flash. If these youngish lions hadn't known much about the Masai when they started, they knew something now, and it might help them survive among people in the future.

Douglas H Chadwick
writing in
"The Fate of the Elephant"