The hunting

We’ve been walking at top speed for 5 hours. We left very early but, already, the heat is here. I do not have water anymore and I do not know how we will get back. Finally, Dia stops; he gives some advice to the other hunters and asks me to following him in some tall grass. Dia may tell me he has remedies against snake bites, I am a little tense and worried about sinking into this vegetation. But, oh well, I did not walk for 5 hours to stay at the edge of the road, so let’s go! The ballet of Dia is surprising: he walks noiselessly, always on the lookout for the slightest shout; he stands still, raises his hand to command me not to move and we remain like this for at least 10 minutes, silent and still. And then, all of a sudden, some meters away, a flock of partridges; Dia fires once and 3 magnificent partridges fall at my feet.
I feel clumsy and heavy in this savanna, compared with Dia Keita; his movements are slow and harmonious, he bends like herb in the wind, disappears and re-appears, turns to the left, sniffs the air, listens to the wind, jumps noiselessly, leaps about without falling. He is natural and I am heavy, exhausted but totally in admiration of this show.
Dia decides to stop hunting, phew it was about time; the idea of going back freaks me out. He can sense it and on the way back, he gives me his water, carries my bag and finally, encourages me in order to arrive to the village just before nightfall.
This first hunting trip with Dia will stay in my memory for a long time; I accompanied him during many other trips and I have always had the impression that when Dia Keita goes deep into the savanna, he disappears, merges with herbs and wind. Many a time have I had the feeling that he became something else entirely, while still protecting me.