Interstellar Adventures

August 4, 2006

Into the Lion’s Mouth

Filed under: Writing — by InterstellarLass @ 12:17 pm

A portion of this has been previously posted, and I’ve reworked this piece a bit too.


When I was very young, about 4, my mom, sister and I lived in a two-bedroom condo. My grandparents lived just around the corner from us. We saw them nearly every day. My grandfather is a bit odd; to me, vacillating between a complete nut and a total genius. I was his first grandchild and we’ve always had a connection of sorts in some strange way.

One of our favorite things to do was to take long evening walks in our neighborhood. As we walked, we would ‘philosophize’ about various things. Though now I don’t remember any of the things that we would talk about.

The one thing I do remember were the trees down one street that we frequented. I don’t know what kind of trees they were, but they had huge, full, leafy canopies that touched over the middle of the street. They could have been pecan trees. My grandparents had one of these behind their condo that would drop mounds of nuts onto their patio. My sister and I would gather them up, and my grandparents would shell and eat them and use them in recepies.

But, on our walks, especially when there was no moon, and the streetlights were casting strange shadows, I would imagine that the trees made up a giant lion’s mouth. As we approached, we would stop and stare around, while I slowly gathered the courage to step into the gaping hole and the shadows. When I was ready, I would tightly grasp my grandfather’s hand and take a deep breath before we would both start together into the darkness. Sometimes we would walk quietly and slowly through, so as not to wake the lion and be eaten alive. Other times I would be in a bit of a panic and we would hurry down the street to get out of the lion’s mouth as soon as we could.

If the wind was blowing, I could swear I could hear the lion roaring and rumbling, stirring from his sleep. Some nights I couldn’t muster the courage to enter into the shadows at all, and we would walk a different route. And as we walked away, I would look over my shoulder, wondering if I would be able to walk through the next time.

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