Biting The Hand That Feeds Us

Biting the hand that feeds us 

I heard a news story just the other day that the owner of a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa had been severely mauled by a lion, that he hand-reared from a cub, in a ghastly attack witnessed and filmed by staff and his tourist/clients.The graphic video showed the owner entering the lion’s enclosure and suddenly the lion started running towards him in a threatening manner.  The owner tried to get back to the gate but the lion reached him before he could escape and dragged him towards the bushes. The lion began to maul its owner to the horrifying screams of the witnesses.

The good news is the owner is alive and recuperating in hospital with a broken jaw and neck injuries. The sad news is the lion was killed.  It appears that the owner was investigating a strange smell in the enclosure that had been upsetting the lion for several days. If only the animal could have communicated what the problem was, right?  Well, of course he couldn’t, he was a wild animal.  Reared in captivity but still wild by nature.

This story made me realize how tenuous any relationship can be regardless of the species and the love that is shown.  Whether a long term partnership or a brief one, there is the possibility of irreparable damage to the relationship for one or the other involved. It can be as simple as drifting away from each other through indifference or as severe as an abusive situation.  What is it about us, as a species, that we allow this to happen?  In the case of the lion and its owner there was love and respect between them, but there was a language barrier.   Between humans there is no excuse.  We have the ability to speak.  When something disgruntles us or makes us unhappy, as with the lion and the bad smell, we at least, can communicate that verbally.  The lion did not have that opportunity.  As a result he lost his life and his loving owner ended up in the hospital.  In my humble opinion talking to our spouses and partners about everything, good or bad, is the life-blood of a relationship.  Communication leads to love, respect and the understanding of each other’s feelings and enables us to grow together.  If only the lion and the man had that ability.

Biting The Hand That Feeds Us

Mysterious and wild
Beautiful and brave
The king of the jungle
Went to his grave

He was just a cub
When he was bottle-fed
Raised lovingly in captivity
Until he ended up dead

He loved his owner
And that feeling was shared
Until the fateful day
When his owner got scared

Their eyes locked for a moment
But the message was not understood
One started to advance
The other ran as fast as he could

The hand that fed him
Was about to be bitten
The wild in the animal
Showed he was no longer a kitten

The king was the hunter
The man became the prey
No good would come of this
There were no debts to repay

The man is a mere mortal
An the lion is a beast
So a lesson to be learned
Is that man was almost the feast

Christine Bolton

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