The Lion and His Fate

Author: Gary Hart

It must have been in a very early visit to the Carnegie Free Library in Ottawa, Kansas, when I first encountered an essay and pictures of African lions, probably in National Geographic.  I immediately knew the leader.  He was magnificent and he was indeed the king of the jungle.

Since then, and throughout a complex life, I’ve identified with this lion and to a certain degree with his avian counterpart the bald eagle as avatars of the creatures of nature whom God has created.

Since the dawn of wildlife conservation beginning with the age of the great Republican Theodore Roosevelt and much beyond, most of us who revere nature have assumed nature’s most magnificent creatures, and in more recent years, smaller, less charismatic species, are worthy of decent respect and preservation from man’s predatory expansionist instincts.

That was then, the heyday of conservation and preservation.  But we have entered a new, a more revanchist, throwback.  The incumbent American administration has just ruled that bans on importation of lion remains are to be lifted and may now enter the United States.

There are more instances of revision to pre-humane policies that would distract attention from the plight of the king of the jungle.  But attention must be paid.  In the not too distant future, one of the president’s progeny, already known for the prowess against unprotected foreign wildlife, will arrive on our shores from Kenya or Tanzania, with a prize African lion head and skin and will clear customs, thanks to his father, free to mount his trophy on his Park Avenue luxury apartment wall, or God forbid as a rug on the floor for all his elite, wealthy friends to admire.

They will, no doubt, praise him for his prowess as a hunter and marvel at his bravery, not knowing that his kill was made with a high powered 30/06 or even 50 caliber rifle at a range of 800 yards surrounded by armed guides and protectors to make sure the distant lion had no chance to retaliate or even contemplate the fate to which cruel politics had committed him.

If any symbol of Trumpism is ever erected, I nominate this scene as illustrative.

What chance did the lion have.  What chance do any of us have.

3 Responses to “The Lion and His Fate”

  1. Paul G Says:


    Over the centuries writers and poets have tackled this jungle-tyrant question requiring our reflection. Harmonizing nature’s seeming irreconcilables in man seems our urgent and ever-daunting task.

    Taking some license with poet William Blake’s magnificent lines of the 1790’s, the bard may write of today’s authoritarian inheritor of our founders’ now imminently endangered republic, as follows:

    “Lying Trump blaring fright,
    In the twitter of the right:
    What immortal hand or eye,
    Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And water’d heaven with their tears:
    Does He smile his work to see?
    Did He who made the Lamb make thee?”

    In the 1890’s, William Butler Yeats, wrote of man’s mystical need to escape the urban-jungle tyranny of man’s continuing inhumanity to his fellow man:

    “Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”

    For any of us to have a chance of saving our republic, we cannot run away. But we may reflectively go back to the biblical mystery of millennia: “The lion and the lamb shall lie down together.” Then we must require that “Pride and Humility shall be in harmony” among all of our nation’s 2020 frontrunner candidates. Then, we may have a chance.

  2. Paul G Says:

    THOSE WHO ARE SAVED (are) those who can afford the premium of salvation (!)


    Gary Hart-Liberal Lion!!!!!!!1

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