Many of you have seen the Youtube video of Christian the lion. If you haven't, it is an emotional reunion between a young lion raised in England and then set free, and the two young men who brought it up. A year later they go to visit, and to the sounds of I Will Always Love You the three of them frolic and practically make out with each other. Very, very touching.
At the end of the short video you will see an old man enter. I did a double take because I immediately recognized the ambling shirtless fellow as one of my boyhood heroes, George Adamson, whose wife, Joy, wrote the first book I ever read, Born Free, later made into a song and a movie. The Adamson's, a fascinating couple, lived in Africa and released several big cats into the wild, one of which was Elsa, the star of Joy Adamson's book. After they had released Elsa and others, they grew apart and separated, although I believe they remained married and close friends. They were both murdered later on, though not at the same time. A remarkable, if tragic story, that probably should be made into a new movie for this generation.
George Adamson being present in this video tells me two things, at least, that were not included on the tape. First, he and staff were the ones who almost certainly did the work of getting young Christian rehabilitated to live in the wild. Second, the lioness you see near the end, is probably not a wild lioness at all, but at least a half tame member of the Adamson family. Christian does not look old enough to me to have a pride, although I guess it is possible. There is no way he could have fought off a larger, older lion, if there was any competition. But a wild lioness, even if his "wife," as the tape tells us, would not be able to sit there and be petted by the two men, even if they are the most talented animal trainers in the world. Don't believe it.
Still, I see why this tape is a phenomena, and, believe me, I got misty-eyed watching. Although, come to think of it, I get misty-eyed everytime I hear I Will Always Love You, so, that may have been cheating a bit.
- I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .