Sunday, March 23, 2008

I would love a lion, thanks

The two gentlemen pictured above purchased the lion cub sandwiched in between them at a department store in the late 60s. His name was Christian and he lived with them in an apartment attached to a furniture store in London, England. Look at him, sitting on a couch! (Also, look at them: this photo looks like it should be an Oasis album cover, or something.) Christian was incredibly affectionate and incredibly adorable. Should i repeat that he is a lion?

Man, look at Christian being all beautiful! Christian loved to play football, watch television, and rummage through drawers, just like a human being! After a year he grew too big to be kept as a pet and John Rendall and Ace Berg (the two friends who bought Christian) tried to figure out what to do. Through a stroke of luck, they managed to get in touch with George Adamson, who spent his time rehabilitating lions raised in captivity back into the wild, among other lion-related things.

Christian was sent to Kenya with George Adamson to join a pride of lions. Despite an initial struggle (Christian knew nothing about lion etiquette), he adjusted beautifully and had lion cubs of his own and disappeared for a long time. A year later, when John and Ace contacted George Adamson to get an update on how Christian was doing and whether they could visit, Adamson warned John and Ace that visiting would be completely futile; Christian had adjusted to a new way of life and wouldn't remember them at all. John and Ace flew to Kenya anyway.

Here's a video of them in Kenya, a year after releasing Christian into the wild. Watch Christian's jaw drop when he recognizes them:

There is a movie (Christian the Lion at World's End) and a book based on Christian's story. I think it was released on DVD in 2006.

Anyway, i just wanted to post about this because the reunion video is incredible and Christian was a such a beautiful cub and the entire story is really nice to think about. I hope your hearts were sufficiently warmed.

Credit to Deb for introducing me to the video (& story) and this newspaper article for the info & photos. I definitely recommend the article; it's freakin' called "Christian, the lion who lived in my London living room" (!!). Are you sold?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Romanticization of the Kingston Summer

Okay, so i have a bike and it has a little basket in the front of it (preferably pink) and i ride this bike in the warm summer sun to Pan Chancho's, where i pick up a French baguette and place it in my bike basket. Then i ride to the lake, the baguette smell wafting through the air as i cruise, a breeze blowing the hair out of my face. When i get to the lake, there are others there and a picnic blanket laid out. I throw my bike down beside the other bikes (metal clashing noise!) on the grass, so green and alive, and sit down with my friends, one of which brought the picnic blanket and a knife, another the butter. And we sit and lie near the lake, eating buttered pieces of baguette with buskers and/or town troubadours playing guitar and harmonica nearby. We laugh at jokes and talk about our weddings and who will be invited and we gossip and make plans to have a seance and squint up at one another because of the sun. Then it starts to get kind of chilly and dark and we decide to call it a day and go home. We're only wearing t-shirts and shorts, after all. So we gather our things and one friend wraps the picnic blanket around his/her shoulders and arms and someone else catches a glimpse of the sky, which is full of stars and so vast, and points it out to the others and we all stand there staring up.

(photo by El Andariego)