Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Lion in its Den

(Hey, here's a personal essay I wrote. This early memory in my brain is about 4 to 5 seconds long, but I decided to write it down anyways.)

The Panthera Leo, also known as, the lion, is one out of four type of cat in the genus species: Panthera. Its closest relatives of the lion’s genus species are the tiger, the leopard, and the jaguar. Some male lions can weigh up to, or exceed, 550 pounds. Male lions are recognizably distinguished by their rather large and bushy manes. Currently, lions live in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
            And though these are all facts, that last one is wrong. You see, my next-door neighbor, the Mildenstein’s, had a pet lion that they kept in their backyard (even though they indeed have the potential to seriously injure or kill animals and human beings.). We do not live in Sub-Saharan Africa or Asia—we live in Orem, Utah, America. It was a male—I could tell by its mane—and it was real big, though not as tall as the chain-linked fence that separated the properties, that separated the lion from my brother and me. I was three years old, my brother was five. We were bored, so we decided to tease the lion in his den.
            Of course, it wasn’t an actual den. In the corner of our yard, the place where the grape covered wooden fence and chain-linked fence met, the tall bushes cleared an area where you can walk up and see our neighbor’s yard clearly through the chain-links. But, of course, you couldn’t see the neighbor’s yard clearly when the mass of a lion’s body was in the way.
            I remember giggling loudly as I got closer and closer to the fence, the lion’s den, and my older brother urging me to get closer to it with him. I could see the lion with his mane, standing proudly.
            I heard a noise. A scream? A yell? The term for a lion’s yell would be a “roar.” The roar was the loudest noise I had ever heard. The roar was a sharp pang I felt in my heart and shook through my body. It was so loud in fact, the wind from the roar knocked me back and I feel onto the wet grass below me.
            Luckily, the entrance to my house just happened to be nearby, so I ran for cover, out of fear, screaming all the way, hoping that I wouldn’t hear any more roars on my way. I didn’t cry too hard, I was just scared, but I felt a couple hot tears on my chipmunk-cheeks.
            Later my mom informed me that my neighbor’s never owned a lion, but they did own a large dog, and they cut its hair to make it look like it had a mane.
            I disagree. My memory from when I was three distinctly portrays a Panthera Leo, a lion.


  1. man! I want a pet lion. that'd be sweet!

  2. Jess, sometimes I just want to crawl into your brain and explore for the rest of my life.

  3. Aw, well you're always welcome there, as long as you cuddle with my brain.... at least a little bit. Cause that would be cute.