Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Boy and the Lion

Once upon a time there was a young boy who lived in Bavaria. His name was Peter. He felt very out of place in the little town he grew up in. Then when the tragedy of war took both of his parents, he found himself living with his Uncle Jan and his aunt.

Another thing Peter discovered was that the farm his parents owned was now part of his Uncle's farm and Peter was not only an orphan, he was dispossessed.

He did what any rational young man at the age of 14 would do. He ran away with the circus.

At first life in the circus was pretty lonely. He survived by working very hard and learning many different jobs. He helped with putting the tent up and down. He made a little extra money and food by helping the people who had animal acts take care of their stock. Coming from a farm he was not afraid of hard work and the circus folks soon began to appreciate having him around.

His hero was Hans the Black. The lion tamer. Hans was everything Peter wanted to be. He was dashing, brave and handsome. Every show Hans would stride into the cage full of lions and the lions would do his bidding. Peter was very happy the day when Hans came to him and said “My regular helper has left the circus. I need to replace him. I've seen you working around the other animals and I like what I see. Would you consider being my assistant?”

Peter didn't have to think very long at all. He said he would love to be the assistant of Hans the Black. He found out that his main duty was to feed the pride of lions twice a day. Well, that and to deal with the main result of feeding them. To feed the lions he had to chop up vast quantities of meat. He would then take the load of meat in a wagon to the lion's cage and give it to them. He always watched the lions closely while they ate. Observing them allowed him to see the structure of the lion's society. How one large black maned lion named Solomon always ate first. He asked Hans the Black one day “Why isn't Solomon ever in the show?” Hans said that “Solomon is the Boss Lion. His job in the show is to run the cage. If I show displeasure during a performance when the lions return to the cage, Solomon will make sure that the one who misbehaves will see the error of their ways.”

Then Peter asked “How does one become a lion tamer?” Hans said “The first thing you must do is to make friends with a lion.”

Peter took that to heart. Every time he came with the meat to feed the lions he always made sure that the choices and juiciest parts of the day's food were right on top. These tidbits he began to personally give to Solomon. It got so that Solomon began to wait at the edge of the cage and roar out with joy when he saw Peter arrive. It was about this time that the circus people bestowed a stage name on Peter. Because of his job, cutting and chopping up meat for the lion's most of his clothes were stained a dark red from the blood. The circus people thought that the perfect stage name for the assistant of Hans the Black could only be Peter the Red.

As time progressed Solomon began to not only roar his delight upon seeing Peter, he began to sit up on his haunches. They developed a game where Peter would throw a juicy chunk of meat high in the air and Solomon would leap into the air to snatch it from mid flight. Peter began to believe that his best friend in the whole world was Solomon the lion. Many nights, instead of sleeping in the caravan wagon with Hans, Peter would be down at the lions cage, curled up with his friend Solomon. He learned that lions purr. A deep, rumbling basso profundo sound, but a purr nonetheless.

Peter really didn't know what his birthday was. He knew that he had been with the circus for three whole seasons. Hans the Black asked him if he knew when his birthday was and he had to tell him that things like that weren't very important on the farm. Hans said that the blooded horses from the Rosinback rider's show were all born on New Year's Day. He asked if that would be alright with Peter. Peter said yes.

New Year's day arrived and when Peter awakened that morning, right there on the chair next to his cot was a beautiful leather outfit. Bright red with brass buttons. And shiny red boots to match. On top of that was a gorgeous red leather whip and a light red chair. There was a card on top of it all that said “To Peter the Red from Hans the Black.”

Peter was thrilled and excited. He had never once in his life been given a present. He had never once in his life been treated like anything but a boy by any adult he could think of. Now, here was his hero, Hans the Black treating Peter the Red like an equal member of the act.

Peter was brimming with energy and happiness. He put on the new set of clothes and admired himself in the mirror. He looked every inch the tamer of lions. He felt every inch the tamer of lions. He wanted to shout and show the whole world that Peter the Red was a lion tamer.

He ran down to the lion's cage to show his new things to his best friend Solomon the Boss Lion. Solomon was sitting where he usually sat, he roared out his usual delight at seeing his friend Peter. It took Solomon a bit of time to realize that the thing that was missing today was the wagon load of meat that usually accompanied Peter's arrival. No matter, he sat up upon his haunches. Peter showed his friend Solomon his new red leather whip. It made a loud Crack! when Peter snapped it in the air. The crack of the whip startled Solomon so much that he jumped into the air just like when Peter would throw up a chunk of fresh meat. Except there wasn't any meat in the air for him to snatch. Only Peter. Solomon did what any rational lion would do faced with this set of circumstance. He gobbled Peter down rapidly.

The moral of the story will appear in the comments section



Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...


If you're going to be friends with a lion, always bring PLENTY of meat.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Snicker. If you play with republicans, bring plenty of money.

10:51 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

yeah, the lessons of that one are pretty unmistakeable.

8:59 AM  
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6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me tell you that I didn't like what this it's the story about.I had heard that the guy who wrote it likes to finding Viagra Online because of his problems.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous bgtrhy said...


4:28 AM  

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