Park Ranger: Mixed Tenses (level B1)

Mark Thompson went to Africa. He came to the top wildlife reserves. His aim was to take part in a training course for park rangers. The dummy of a buffalo was a target to fire at. Mark raised the rifle to his shoulder. He steadied his arm, took aim and fired. The bullet hit it square in the chest. If it were a real buffalo, this clean shot would save people. Mark does not love guns. But a ranger must know how and when to shoot.

The trainees were practicing with real guns and bullets, while their instructor explained the behavior of animals. "Animals have a flight zone and a fight zone. Get up close to them and they will run away, but at a certain point, if you get too close, they will turn and fight.”

If a ranger suddenly comes across a buffalo, they should keep calm. Buffaloes are the ones that scare the rangers most. When the buffalo charges it never stops, it just keeps on going. Rangers have to shoot.

While all the holiday-makers in the safari enjoy comforts, rangers live in camps. They have oil lamps and shower under a bucket which is suspended from a tree. One night a pride of lions came into the camp after the rangers had gone to bed. Mark was doing his duty for the first time after the training course. Mark was at a guard post. He saw some animals in the dark. Those were the lion’s cubs. The cubs were playing with the tent ropes. Soon the cubs followed the lioness and did not attack. After that Mark thought that he would not be a ranger. He could not shoot at a living being. He learned that only a handful of dedicated individuals can really make it a true profession. What was called a ranger training course was really a good lesson. There was no way that Mark would be take on the ranger’s duties for real.

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