As we were about to cross the dry stream-bed —thick with overgrown vegetation—I became slightly nervous. It was late afternoon and this would be an ideal resting spot for lions. I tried to sound unconcerned about gross bodily harm and casually voiced this worry. I too wanted to appear as confident as the three Maasai guides I was walking with. “Yes, of course that could be true,” replied Solomon Sankale, the man responsible for my safe passage through Maasailand. “But it is not a problem. Lions are afraid of Maasai. Every Maasai has killed a lion before—with our hands.” He then crouched low, pantomimed throwing a spear, and laughed until my fears disappeared—until I absorbed his confidence—until I even secretly dared a lion to mess with us.

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