The Roar

Yesterday I went to visit one of my oldest, most cherished friends. It had been almost six years since we’d seen each other. While there, my phone rang: a tiger’s roar. That prompted him to recall a story.

Some forty-odd years ago, his wife and he visited a zoo down south. They were only fifteen feet from a lion’s cage, no glass, and the lion stared and seemed to stalk them. My buddy, intrigued, gazed back. Moments later he and his wife discussed the next step of their tour. They had their backs turned to the cage when suddenly the lion charged the bars and roared at them. My buddy said it was deafening and scared the hell out of him.

“I’ve read that people swear and tiger’s roar shakes the ground,” I told him, having just reread John Vaillant’s, The Tiger.
“I was just going to say, it sounds crazy but it felt like the ground shook. We felt it in our bodies.” he said.

The roar of those huge cats often freezes prey. If you run, it’s over; either way you’re doomed.

Speaking for myself though, when the time comes, I can’t imagine a more suitable way to recycle this broken old body. The beauty, athleticism and power of those animals is beyond words.

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