A Lion’s Fable

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Emancipator “Lionheart”

I always dreamed of becoming a lion
Ever since I was a cub
Strong, proud, and immensely courageous
These dignified creatures symbolize monarchy and epitomize stateliness

Leading from the front as big cats live and breathe for the hunt
Defending their territory with valor certified
But never more at peace than when lounging in the shade from beating sun
While always finding time to nuzzle heads with their beloved pride

If ever there were a downside, then I had not been made aware of it
Therefore, when asked what I wished to be at such a time as I came of age
There appeared no valid reason not to seize the very day
Declare this

My classmates found this revelation highly amusing
Likely none the wiser as to the lion heart that they were bruising
Felt that I was losing both face and something deeper
As they put me firmly in my place and branded me a careless dreamer

Whispering between them as they circled wounded prey
Little did they know that I had already been soundly slain
Took every scrap of lion brave making such audacious claim
And at the tender time of barely eight-years of age
It was deemed most unwise to ever do so again

I tucked this trenchant pain away
Chalked it down to life experience
Took me over three decades before I then began to query this
It was always deep within me
Just dared not lease these particulars out
To those who had no inkling what it means to be eternally devout
And self-doubt it has a canny habit of eventually manifesting through abject weariness

Clearly in the wrong pelt, it felt as though disingenuous to self
However, far too strenuous to ever entertain
For the light in my eyes was punctually fading
The very blindest of faith fast ebbing away
And this once playful cub felt just snubbed enough to spend remains of its days simply hiding away
Seemed safer that way

Wracked by bitter guilt as it unduly spilled into every last thought I dared never to share
This sorely wounded beast solely released repressed agony in the sanctuary of its lair
Nothing could ever harm me there
But then, what of the natural light that I deprived myself by never ever being here as I was far too hard-pressed there

I needed to be seen before this unseen lion was no more
Needed to reveal a feeling less sinking as the quicksand transuded the very sorest of paws

Thus, I paused
For a moment, barely that
Raised my chin from its lowly orientation
Pulled the blades of my shoulders right back
Puffed out my chest
And once again became this famed cat
Alas, only through half-hearted roar

Twas then that I spotted her for the very first time
Time came to a standstill as my eyes they did recline
Never before had I seen quite so clearly and never, ever beheld such a radiant sight
As the little white rabbit skipping by me

This sighting was most timely as I was running out of recourse fast
Each breath that left a mist submitted it may be mine absolute last
Though, as this magnificent creature passed by me
I no longer felt quite so pained
So pre-ordained solely to lay down in the shade just to die

She hosted the very blackest of eyes
However, her delicate fleece was most brilliant white
I wished to provide maxim but what could I pronounce
In such an eminent presence
That would not come off sounding trite

In this life, should we suffer with sufficient grace
Then we may, just may, be blessed enough by fate to entertain one count of unthinkable magic
This is the universe’s way of reassuring us that, for all that is tragic, it will be okay
Perhaps not what we came equipped for but certainly what we have lived for through unteachable pain

Two little five-lettered words sum this up in a manner most quaint
Blind faith
Our all-seeing gaze was absolutely unbroken as I posed the one question far more precious than token

“Regarding leaps of faith, these hazardous endeavors. I would very much care to ascertain the measure of thine feelings… At thy leisure”
However, twas nothing leisurely of the rejoinder whatsoever
“They never fail, ever”
And with that, I instantly lunged


Not to onset and plunder, this action light years more tactile
Even more precarious as it entailed a sightless plunge
The rabbit hOle before us was as curious as I ever had discerned
But I had lived through too much low life to abandon higher learning

dOwn to a wonderland more enchanted than I had ever been granted access to
The kind of bluest heaven to which one kneels down and prays
Day after day after day to one day, with blind faith, take that leap and collapse into

Being sensitive to light, I clung to shadow like a hallowed corset
Momentarily divorced from the sun which had scorched mine fleece
Howbeit, this moment it lasted for a sprawling eternity
Or so, that way it seemed
As I tumbled ever deeper into She with the very blackest eyes to see

I was finally seen
By both the queen to mine king and the king to mine queen
This creature wildly renowned for its temperament timid
Tempered this with a courage I had only prior gleaned from fantastical fiction
Then dressed this stellar crest with unending conviction
Twas why I trusted mine instinct and blindly leapt
With never the twain for a meet with submission

While one of such elusive nature would inherently be startled
This legendary rabbit held fearlessly fast
And at long last, I knew mine undying wish had been granted
Twas She who made me into a lion
She who reminded that I had been all along

Thus I sang her a song, howbeit I did not feel self-conscious
Shed tears of heartbreak and longing
Laid mineself bare with not a care for hopes and fears together thronging
Made mineself a dithering fool and shared with her mine nonsense
Revealed the single piece of the puzzle I had never cared enough to share before
The rain of mine slavery
And she stayed for every teardrop which did fall

This known sign of weakness
She considered as strength
Went to lengths most tremendous to nurture my might
Would not be seen live or in throes of bleak death not protecting mine sight from the light which deprived
Twas there in her sensational eyes
A handsomely beautiful lion with lustrous mane
Of mountainous stride and heart spilling pride

I was a good man
Courteous, kind and ever dignified
Howbeit, I always did dream of becoming a great lion
Ever since I was a cub
And this transcendental white rabbit
Made true this ambitious design
Granted the one wish I had dared not to speak of
Gave me her paw just as I gave her mine
And a never-ending ancient fable reconvened that very night

Souls long since misplaced can be reclaimed in time
Little boys with wide eyes can be a whole pride of lions
Dreams do come true if you wish hard enough
Life can be adored, not simply survived
This magic white rabbit with softest white fur and the very blackest of eyes
Sees me like never another has ever before
Mine lustrous mane shines never more brightly than this very day
Tis not a single thing unspoken left to say
Aside from…

Richard Charles Stevens

Keeper of The Crimson Quill

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