CLIFF HANGER

     Finally the day arrived!  He had been preparing for this day for the past three months.  As he approached the single engine Cessna floatplane, he mentally rechecked his equipment for the twentieth time.  "Cameras O.K., all required lens O.K., spare batteries O.K., remote shutter release O.K., tripods O.K., food and water supply O.K., camping equipment O.K."
     He had been given a once-in-a-lifetime assignment by a national wildlife magazine to photograph the mating ritual of the extremely rare Alaskan Myna.  The ritual was reported to be extremely brief.  Timing - perfect timing - was critical to the success of the assignment.
     The Cessna took to the air and headed due north into the Alaskan wilderness.  During the two hour flight he went over his plans time and time again, mentally rehearsing every detail of the assignment.  Finally, the aircraft banked into a landing pattern and dropped softly to the surface of Lake Otter, the only know habitat of the Alaskan Myna.  The bush pilot taxied the plane to the lake shore.
     He unloaded his equipment and the Cessna departed, to return in exactly three days.  The timing should be about right.  He had flown out here a month before and, after a week of difficult hiking around the shore line of the lake, he had finally located a Myna nesting area.  It was then that he had built a blind.  He quickly headed for it now.  Locating the blind, he carefully set up his camera equipment and sat back to wait.
     The Alaskan Myna hibernated in the same nesting area every winter.  Each spring, the male and female Mynas, who mated for life, would emerge and reaffirm their pairing by performing a unique, but very brief, mating ritual.   To be able to document this ritual would make the photographer famous, worldwide.
     On the second day he saw movement in the nesting area!  The Mynas were emerging.  (A small, inconspicuous thunderhead approached from the southwest).  He calculated he had only fifteen seconds to take the photographs before the Mynas completed the ritual and returned to their nest.  He had already pre-focused and checked the settings of his five cameras.  They were all to be set off by remote control.  The Mynas began the ritual.  He took a deep breath and mentally counted down, "5. . 4 . . 3 . . 2 . . 1. ."
     Suddenly, a bolt of lightning and a crash of thunder shook the wilderness!

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