(Hold thumbs, I’ve got access again! Although that is a mixed blessing because the past 2 weeks without all the internet distractions were kinda cool. Here is a sample of something I wrote during that time.)
I remember standing in line to hold the baby lion. Some parents dragged their children because, “You nagged for it, now we are doing it!”
I dragged my mother.
Some of the children cried. They didn’t want to have their photos taken with the lion. “What if it bites me?” they asked.
I wanted to yell at them to get out of the line so I could get there faster.
Then it was my turn. It was heavier than our cat at home. I held it and cuddled it and kissed its head. It smelled like the sun. Its fur was soft and its tummy was warm and it sat quite still while I talked to it.
I just wanted to take the lion home.
Then my time was finished and I cried when they took the lion away.
(Update – January 2012)
This is me, 30-something years later, experiencing those same emotions while visiting the Sondela Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, South Africa.