Thursday, July 20, 2006

Queen of the Beasts

Imagine our fear and trepidation as we heard the news that one of the largest carnivorous creatures in the world had escaped yesterday from Amsterdam's Artis Zoo -- within just a kilometer or so of our home. Neighborhood playgrounds were deserted and armed military officers stood guard along the major thoroughfares of Amsterdam Oost, as news reports indicated that the ferocious beast was stalking southward from the zoo... Confident men strutted down the street, to the mailbox, to the cafes -- pretending that they weren't conscious of the danger lurking in the shadows, hanging over their shoulders. Mothers kept vigil from streetside balconies. Teenagers dared each other to go more than 10 meters from the safety of a reinforced door. The tension was palpable.

Thus, it would be a bit of an understatement to say that Marci and I were terrified to hear a rustling and a low growl coming from our bedroom during the heat of the day. Marci screamed and snatched Elliot from the living room floor, where he had been playing. I jumped up and grabbed a chair from the dining room table -- the closest weapon I could find. Marci screamed, "Where is Olivia?!?! Oh, please God -- WHERE IS OLIVIA?!?!?!?" The rising pitch of the growl from the bedroom matched the soft padding of footsteps from the back of the house toward the living room... It was a moment of absolute horror.

As the beast stepped into sight, the lion looked at me with big eyes and a gaping maw full of teeth. And then the lion said, "Look Dayee! I'm a li-uh!" Oh, the relief! Oh, the ecstasy! This lion answered to the name of Olivia. And yes, in fact, the lion was my daughter.


At 8:29 PM, Blogger Stef said...

i truly enjoy your stories. :)

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Eric Asp said...

That's a great compliment, especially considering that it comes from a person who makes her living at writing! Thanks!


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