It’s not that my mother was a bad mother just that the Lions showed an interest and she figured that being an only child I could do with the company. Also, as a single mother, she probably felt I would benefit from a strong male role model.
The house in which I was born was next to an abandoned theme park on the western outskirts of Sydney. The theme park had an African Lion Safari and when it closed there was nowhere else for the Lions to go, so they stayed. The former owner had to pay for their upkeep and deal with security.
Every morning my mum listened to the Lions intently as they bellowed their dawn chorus. Soon after my birth she decided to introduce me to the neighbours. As an adult I now realise this decision may have had something to do with post natal depression but as a child it sounded like such a happy story. Anyway they did not eat me they actually adopted me as one of their own.
I loved to be with my Lion family. I would lure neighbourhood pets into their enclosure for a game of chasies and afterwards we would all lie around soaking in the sun for hours and hours. They taught me so many wonderful things about life but most importantly they taught me about pride.
Over the happy years of my youth there were some minor setbacks. I lost some toes, some fingers and my right eye but on the whole I think I have benefited from living amongst the Lions. For example:
• I can roar so loud that I can bring an entire shopping centre to a halt
• I don’t need to use a stove
• I was only ever bullied once
• I can lick myself clean using no more than a standard glass of water
• I can permanently retract my claws
My dear old mum has now passed and the Lions were all put to sleep when I was a teenager. Isn’t it odd how things that don’t seem to hurt you in your youth can become a source of deep pain when you are fully grown?
As a young man I was a fairly wild and woolly character but nowadays I live a quiet life of contemplation and retreat. I often think of my Lion family and every now and then I try to play chasies but really it just makes me sad. Without the pride to run with it just doesn’t feel right.
Life has not been without its trials, in fact there have been many charges but to date no major convictions. After all the court cases and accusations a lot of people seem to think that I am a homicidal sociopath. But the truth of it is I’m really just a big pussycat.
little story, alternate reality