The animals stand motionless in gold-white grasses -- zebras and impala, Thomson's gazelles and Cape buffalo and hartebeests and waterbuck and giraffes, and wildebeests by the thousands, all fixed in art naif, in a smiting equatorial light. They stand in the shadowless clarity of creation.

Now across the immense African landscape, from the distant escarpment, a gray-purple rainstorm blows. It encroaches upon the sunlight, moving through the air like a dark idea. East Africa has a genius for such moments. Wildlife and landscape here have about them a force of melodrama and annunciation. They are the Book of Genesis enacted as...

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