“Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the lion of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed.” Revelation 5:5
‘I’d just launched myself after the antelope when suddenly I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my foot. I pulled up in agony. Looking down, I saw a thorn had pierced the padding of my paw. I was roaring with pain, writhing in the dust, howling terrible piteous roars.
I didn’t notice the human until he was on top of me, you know how these humans are, Leoni, devious and untrustworthy. Afraid, I roared. There was nothing I could do. I was a sitting duck on the veldt with no one to defend me.
He started talking to me in Swahili. I could understand him. Imagine, Leoni, me, a lioness, talking to our enemy, man.
“Peace be with you, Naomi,” he said, “here let me help you.”
He knelt down in the dirt beside me and stroked my fur.
“Relax,” he said, “don’t worry.”
I showed him the thorn embedded in my paw.
“I’ll have to pull it out,” he said, “it may hurt.”
He knew how painful thorns could be.
“Yes, Master,” I answered, to my surprise.
He eased the thorn from my paw. I roared with pain, then it was over. Immediately I felt a sense of relief flood through me. He applied a balm to the wound, crafting a poultice from the herbs he carried in a bag on his shoulder.
“Rest a few days, Naomi,” he said, “you’ll feel better, and remember, lady,” he wagged his finger, “no hunting.”
I was so overcome with gratitude there were tears in my eyes,
“Yes, Master,” I said, looking around but he had gone.
I limped back to my pride, busy devouring the prey I’d helped them stalk earlier, hoping my sisters would save me some scraps from the feast.”’
Leoni looked up at her mother.
“Did you ever see him again, mother?”
“No, child, but he said that one day, he’d return. That all would be well. We wouldn’t have to hunt for food to survive. This world would end, his kingdom dawn and there’d be an end to strife. I was overcome with a deep feeling of peace.”
I remembered the story my mother told me when I was a child, as I tramped through the scrubland, a mature lioness now, on the prowl with a pride of my own.