Monday, September 5, 2016
The White Lions of Timbavati
The white lions of Timbavati are wandering through my dreams, with their white manes and blue, blue eyes. Star travelers, they came here from the sky, living in a spot where the stars aligned, a power place, where our forefathers are said to have traveled, also from the stars. In those ancient days, the lions shared their caves with man, and our fates became entwined. When starvation threatened man's extinction, the lion offered himself to man to eat, to save his life. The shaman says the fate of man and the fate of the white lions is interwoven: whatever befalls the white lions will befall man. Today they have been hunted to near extinction, like everything beautiful that humans try to conquer. Those few who are left visit my dreams, their blue eyes asking, "why do you not see, what you do to us, you are doing to yourselves? Your souls' measure is taken by how you use your guns." Their small white cubs cry piteously, as their parents are lost to canned "hunting", to our everlasting shame. The shaman says killing a lion sun god is a sacrilege, for they are sent as enlightenment bearers, with a message for humanity at this time.
If we do not hear the message
the white lions of Timbavati will disappear
along with our hopes for the future of the earth.
Note: There are fewer than thirteen white lions still living in the wild, less than 300 existing world-wide, most in canned "hunting" enclosures. A few are kept in a refuge by people dedicated to saving them from extinction. I learned about them in one of the most riveting books I have ever read, "The Mystery of the White Lions: Children of the Sun God" by Linda Tucker, who has made it her mission to save the white lions who are left.
Posted for Toni Spencer's prompt at dVerse: a haibun about the stars.