Friday, 21 October 2011

The Truth about Lions

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You can tell there is something special about the lion. There is just something about him. Maybe it’s the mane. It looks decorative, it looks pompous, it is certainly regal. Yes, he is without doubt the king of the jungle.

The lion is the ultimate macho. He lets the women lions do the hunting while he reserves his energies for resting, or sleeping or occasionally fighting other lions.
The lion has unusual eating habits. They enjoy Henry the Eighth style feasts which last for some time. They then call in the cleaners-the hyenas and vultures-who clean up after them, and instead of paying them a living wage, they let them have some food instead. The lion then sets about what life is really all about, snoozing and dozing and relaxing in the shade.

The pronunciation of the word ‘lion’ has at least two other meanings in the English language. Lying also means resting, which is what lions do best. The other word, lying also means telling untruths. Can this really be associated with lions? Do lions really lie?
Surely not?  But on the other hand there are white lions, and there are white lies, so surely the coincidence does not remain there?
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When the child lions come back from the nursery at the end of the day, they may ask their Dad.

 ‘What have you been doing today Dad?’

 Well, Dad is a little embarrassed by the answer to this question, despite being the King of the Jungle. And of course, the lion is the master of looking busy, while doing as little as possible.
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 ‘Well’, says Dad, ‘I have been checking out our lands and properties, and making sure there were no intruders’.

‘And were there any?’ squealed the young lions excitedly.

‘And were there any what?’ grunted the Dad back.

‘Daaad! Intruders of course!’.

‘Err, no there weren’t any’ gnarled Dad through gritted teeth, eying a pack of hyenas in the distance. Hence comes the expression, ‘You lying lion’.

‘And Dad, what time is dinner?’ asked the young lions eagerly, bouncing up to their grumpy Dad.

‘Well, your Mum has gone out shopping and should be back shortly’ replied Dad, feeling a little peckish himself.

And, sure enough, there in the distance Mum was arriving with food. And yes, there would be food for all tonight. After a great dinner, with full stomachs the lions got back to what they are really good at, lying about…and lying to each other….

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