|This has got to be a Malaysian Ent, right?|
A great many Malaysians, though, will mutter about djinns or forest spirits as the thing they fear. In truth, death in the forest is likely to be much more prosaic. And on this trip, I certainly had a narrow escape from serious injury, which might possibly even have been fatal. As it was, I escaped unscathed.
|The road to Borneo Rainforest Lodge|
And the cause? Something very boring.
A falling branch.
We were walking in single file. I had lagged behind the person in front (my assistant, Eileen) because I was chatting with the gentleman behind me, a tourist from UK. (Thanks, Merv. I owe you one.) It had rained heavily the night before, and a water-soaked branch - about as thick as my forearm and several metres long - came crashing down from a huge height. It landed several metres behind Eileen, a mere arm's length in front of me and shattered under the force of its fall.
A split second later and I would have been toast, or at least someone with a very, very bad headache. The heaviest, thickest part of the branch was squarely in the middle of the narrow trail. When I picked it up later, I was amazed at just how heavy it was.
|A determined tree doesn't let a rock bother its quest for life.|
And the irony? We were walking down the Coffincliff trail at the time.
Such is life.
Such is life.