The understanding of the word ‘stampede’ includes the understanding that it is not a static state. Yes, most of us do have a sort of ‘freeze frame’ image of the event. It’s our own composition from paintings we may have seen, spaghetti westerns we may have watched, or a national geographic close-up award-winning photo. Whether in motion or in freeze-frame, a stampede always includes the chaotic and panicked, rushing in an undirected and uncontrollable fashion, trampling and crashing and bellowing all the while . . .

And, if you look closely at a detailed painting or picture, or you watch your screen so closely that you can nearly freeze-frame the instant I’m talking about yourself . . . the instant when, somehow, either the artist painted it in or the camera couldn’t lie . . . one of the animals in flight seems to make direct eye contact with you—it was so fast—a flash—

And, yet again, they say time slows down during the experience of a jolt—so, however long that was or seemed,

You saw and felt the sheer panic in one animal’s eye and your heart went,
“Ah, poor thing.”

If you didn’t,
allow me to say,
“Ah, poor thing. You missed the empathy passing between the two
different life forms. You must have blinked.”

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