Unfortunately, I had forgotten to explain the honor that was being bestowed upon him to Chiquito. But as luck would have it, he was immediately attracted to Steve...albeit in a "bromance" kind of way.
Chiquito leaped off the tree onto the camera, breaking off the plastic contraption at the end of it. And Steve lunged for said contraption, yanking it away from Chiquito.
In the heat of the moment, Steve had broken a cardinal Monkey Rule. "What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine."
An adrenalin haze clouded my vision, and I never saw what happened next. But Chiquito was obviously incensed that Steve wasn't sharing his toys.
"OW!" Steve yelled. "He bit my leg!"
"Badly?" I asked in disbelief.
"It drew blood!" Steve responded.
Horrified, I stared at the calf of Steve's khaki pants, waiting to see a deep red stain spread across the fabric. Steve is on the anticoagulant Coumadin, having recently spent two weeks in a hospital in Brazil following a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) from flying.
No pool of blood. Steve was wearing knee-high compression socks, but on examination there was no blood on it, either.
Puzzled, we soldiered on. Steve with his camera in one hand and a large stick in the other. Carol with her camera and a stick of her own. And Chiquito circling to give them a wide berth. The magic had gone out of the Kodak moment.
For the sake of Chiquito's reputation, and because it's inevitable that the bite story will grow like a fish story, Steve agreed that I could photograph his leg for posterity. The photographs of the photographer trumped the show.