January 18, 2004
Remember the Part of The Wizard of Oz When Dorothy Meets The Lion?
That's how I felt for a moment today.
"If I were King of the Forest,
Not Queen, not Duke, not Prince
My regal robes of the forest
Would be satin, and not cotton, and not chintz.
I'd command each thing, be it fish or fowl.
With a woof and a woof, and a royal growl.
I'd click my heel
All trees would kneel
And the mountains bow
And the bulls kowtow
And the sparrow would take wing
If...I ...if...I ..were King!"
Bert Lahr wasn't far from my thoughts yesterday as my son and I stood in front of Samson's enclosure. I could almost picture our new friend in a pink bow and singing to some girl in gingham check.
Samson hasn't had an easy life. That much was obvious by his presence at the wildlife sanctuary. His story was much like all the ones we'd heard about all the other big cats there. Samson was the result of inbreeding and malnutrition. Sold to someone who had no idea what raising a lion would entail. No idea that it was illegal - or, at least, not caring.
His jaw is out of alignment from the malnutrition he suffered during the early part of his life. His hind legs are too short and slightly bowed. No more human playmates for this big guy. Not since he's decided that he's the mighty king of his realm. People enter to clean his enclosure and feed him while he's watching the cows in the pasture off to the one side. He allows this. He likes food and is a bit of a neat freak it seems. I guess good housekeepers are hard to find when you're king.
Soon, Samson will have more room. His enclosure was temporarily split in half to accommodate two older tigers. The tigers are to be shipped to Folsom Zoo in the next couple of weeks. And, they're hoping (though that's not exactly the right word...) that someday, Samson will have a true roommate. A queen to the throne as it were.
The big cat count for the day was 14 tigers, two leopards, two mountain lions, 5 or 6 bobcats, and one lion. One sweet and scruffy lion in need of a gal to sing his song to.
Awww. Reminds me of the time I went to the local zoo and botanical garden. Of all the tourists and other critters, the lion and the Fla.(?) cougar were the only organisms who looked me in the eye and conversed with me. I exchanged eyeblinks and yawns with the lion, as in "Can't we eat some of these yahoos?"
He reminds me of Acidman!
More kitties, please! Maybe a few video links...
The entire week of Catman was pure-t genius.
I haven't laughed so hard reading here in ages.
Thank you, DG for the fun.
If nothing else, you certainly put the ape in apricot, Joanie.
Contrary to popular belief, that wasn't the first time Dorothy met the Lion.
Great post! Who knew that there would be so much fuzzy wuzzy writing while our Acid dude was on vaCATion!