Archive for September, 2008

To Catch A Lion

September 15, 2008

   The lion will lie down with the lamb.

                  Isaiah 11:6


   I read Elizabeth a picture book one night about Noah and his ark. We spent most of the reading pointing out the animals and asking her what they were. “Zebra. Giraffe. Tiger.” And so on. Then we came to the lion.

   Elizabeth got the lion right. But then she said, “Let’s get a lion, Daddy.”

   “Get a lion?”

   “Let’s catch one.”


   “Down in the trees.”

   I suppose a little one at age four might think such a thing possible. But since we live in Kansas City, Missouri, I strongly doubted we could just walk down into the trees and nab one by the scruff of the neck and lead him home. Nonetheless, this conversation sounded too good to drop, so I asked, “How are we going to catch a lion, honey?”
   She thought about it, and then said, “With a catching thing.”

   I held back my guffaws and queried further, “What’s a ‘catching thing’?”

   “You know, you catch things with it.”

   Ah, that made sense. Jeanette, seated next to me on the bed working on her computer, turned to us and said, “She means a net.”

   I said to Elizabeth, “Do you mean a net?”

   “No, a catching thing.”

   “What does it look like?”

   I expected some descriptive thought. But she shook her head, “You just catch things with it, Daddy, that’s all.”
   “Okay,” I finally said, “but what will we do with a lion if we catch one?”

   “We’ll bring it home. It’ll be like Zoe and Pickles and Frodo.” Zoe is our enormous half-black-lab/half chow horse dog. Pickles and Frodo are cats.

   “So you mean it will be a pet?”


   “Won’t you be afraid of it?”

   “No, I’ll pet it, Daddy. Like I do Zoe.”

   Ah, that should be fun. “So what will we feed it?”
   Again, deep thought. Then: “We’ll feed it lion food.”
   “What’s lion food?”

   “You know, like cat food and dog food, except for lions.”

   This was getting curiouser and curiouser. “And where will we get this lion food?”

   “Oh, Daddy, you know. Wal-Mart, where we get everything.”

   Actually, come to think of it, I would be willing to bet Wal-Mart had a whole aisle dedicated to lion food, lion litter, lion chew toys, all of it.

   Elizabeth said, “We could feed it the hamster.”

   “The hamster?”

   “It would just be a snack. But I bet lions like hamsters.”

   “Why do you think that?”

   “Frodo an Pickles are always tying to eat him, so I think a lion would, too.”

   I decided this charade had gone on long enough. “Honey,” I said, “we can’t go catch a lion. They don’t live here.”

   “Then let’s go where they live.”
   “Where’s that?”

   “Oh, Daddy, sometimes you are not very smart. They live at the zoo.”

   Ah, yes, how could I have forgotten?