Prideless Roar

By Kerri R.

Alice reaches a plateau.  Not the kind where you are stuck without making progress.  She stands looking out from the elevated land at a horizon of SO much green!  This plateau is unusual.  Nature created a place where two worlds meet as one.  Here is where the savanna and the rainforest meet.  Here is also where there had been a rare sighting of another big cat:  The Lion.  The King of the Jungle.  Like the Black Panther, this Lion was also believed to be extinct. 

Did the sighting show that hope does exist? Can it be real? Or is it like a reflection in a looking glass? An imitation of something real.  How do we differentiate true hope from false hope?  

“I’ve seen faith just come and go, Too many times before, Out here just selling hope”

Shirazee

As she pushes through the thick brush, Alice wonders how anyone could be found here.   She was having trouble even finding herself!  The Lion’s natural habitat is typically out in the open with a clear view ahead.  Normally a social cat, how had this Lion survived isolated without his family?  Without his pride? Did the Lion have to change to survive?  Is he still a Lion then? Is courage enough?  Can you adapt to survive without losing who you are?  

“But I’m used to calling out in vain, For somebody out there to come help me….Only way for you to take away the pain. Show me something different

~ Shirazee

As Alice waits for the Lion to appear she thinks of the looking glass eyes of all the animals she has met in the Wildlife Wonderland.  Those reflections were not imitations.  They were reflections from deep within.  What if looking glasses could show us more than what is visible on the surface?  

Alice speaks as if the Lion could hear her…

“How would you like to live in Looking-glass House, Kitty? …I’m sure it’s got, oh! such beautiful things in it!”

Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 1

“I’ve learned that the beautiful, Sometimes have hearts so cold…Show me something different”

Shirazee

The leaves rustle up ahead.  Alice approaches cautiously.  She sees two very curious eyes peeking at her through the brush.  They aren’t cat eyes though.  The round brown eyes blink sweetly.  A low grumble comes from behind the young animal with the sweet eyes.  By instinct Alice grumbles back in response.  It was a conversation of mutual respect.  One by one, each member of a family of Gorillas appears, interested to see their visitor. 

Just as the Wolf Pack had, the band of Gorillas accept Alice, and casually return to what seemed like a typical day.  A mother cradling her child, looking lovingly into his eyes.  Someone climbing a tree.  Someone napping.  A pair wrestling.  A large presence watches over all of them.  Protective. Could there be more than one King of the Jungle? 

Alice is engrossed in how both ordinary (like humans) and extraordinary this community is. 

She takes a few steps to get closer when she walks into herself.  A large looking glass had appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the forest.  Curious.  She looks back at herself.  She looks different than she remembered.  Has she changed on the outside or from within?   

The gorillas take turns to investigate the mirror too.  But without a satisfying response most lose interest and quickly move on.  Alice joins them.      

“There’s gotta be so much more (Out there, out there), I’m looking for what I don’t know”

Shirazee 

The fading interest in the mirror changes when the silverback (the “King”) approaches.  Threatened by his own reflection he roars to declare that this is HIS territory.  

Two young gorillas had been showing off to gain Alice’s attention when everyone stopped at the sound.  

“Where the noise came from, she couldn’t make out: the air seemed full of it, and it rang through and through her head till she felt quite deafened. She started to her feet and sprang across the little brook in her terror…”

Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 7

Alice had seen mutualism between animals from the sea, to the desert, to the forest.  She had seen the families in the wild supporting and protecting one another.  And while she knew the dangers in the wild existed, it was still disorienting.  If there was a territorial war, did she need to choose a side?     

“The Lion had joined them while this was going on: he looked very tired and sleepy, and his eyes were half shut. ‘What’s this!’ he said, blinking lazily at Alice, and speaking in a deep hollow tone that sounded like the tolling of a great bell.”

Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 7

What creates our identity?  Is it how we look? Our family?  Our culture? Our social status?  Our career? Our spiritual beliefs?  Our political beliefs?  Is it based on what we believe about ourselves or who others believe we are? What if it was all taken away…who would we be?     

The Lion looked at Alice wearily. “Are you animal—vegetable—or mineral?” he said, yawning at every other word.

“It’s a fabulous monster!”

Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 7

Continue with the next post, On Thin Ice


More Information:

Endangered or not endangered?  That is the question of lions

Gorillas are endangered  

Rabbit hole:  “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is a well known song that was adapted from the South African Song “Mbube”.  An African shepherd, Solomon Linda, who protected cattle from lions was the original artist.  (The word from the African language meaning lion was misinterpreted and replaced with an English nonsense word “Wimoweh”).  It is a sad song for the lion.      

Looking-Glass Lions

Looking-Glass Leopard and Elephants


Kerri is an advocate for the introverted activist. Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others. She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.

Published by Kerri

Kerri is an advocate for the introverted activist. Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others . She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.

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