Old Lion
Written by James Hunt   
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 18:29

An old battled scarred lion, who due to his diminishing ability to catch prey for the pride, was booted out the family by a bunch of randy young turks. The disheartened, hungry, timeworn warrior had heard through the grapevine that the dogs & other domestic pets of the mining camp provided easier pickings, & so one night he left the bush & ventured into the streets to do a recce. He very quickly became disoriented by the unfamiliar surroundings, scents & noises. One unfamiliar scent that caught his interest was that of Mrs Reckners famous cornish pasties baked by her in the Mine Recreation Club kitchen. Copper Miners' journey home were usually interrupted by a mandatory & therapeutic liquid enhanced pause at the Muf Mine Rec Club pub.

A couple of Mrs Rechner’s cornish pasties were also purchased as bit of bribery for Wifey to salve one's conscience as well as to quell the anger of one's better half! These delights were always in demand as peace offerings to the wives who had been waiting long & patiently for the return of their exhausted loved ones from the arduous labours of underground copper mining.

On this evening, Joe, a practised veteran of the procedure, bade farewell to his pub mates, grabbed his packet of pasties & made his unsteady way into the darkness to his pushbike parked adjacent to the kitchen refuse bins. Meantime, Mister lion was busy rummaging through the refuse bins & causing quite a clatter. Joe, after a drunken leer through the gloaming, retorted, 'Voetsak you Bleddy Brak." to what looked like a large stray dog.

The king of beasts took exception to the derisory tone of voice & let out a deep & resonant growl. Joe advanced & made as if to deliver a hefty kick to the mongrel & this evoked a full blooded 500Watt surround sound snarl from Leo. Joe, instantly sobered, realised that this was serious stuff & definitely not associated with man's best friend. Joe hotfooted it back to the warm safety of the pub shouting "There is a huge bloody lion outside!" "Oh piss off Joe, just admit that you are shit scared to face Dolly half drunk. Have another quart & buy a couple more pasties!"

Word spread rapidly around Mufulira about the the vicious beast & a posse of brave hunters tracked down the king of beasts the following night & humanely despatched him to Lion heaven.

Next morning, Leo's corpse was transported to the Boma for careful inspection by the NRP in case any crime had been committed. A large noisy crowd quickly gathered around the body & the usual prodding & inspection of the 'Man-Eater" took place. There were a number of growl - like gas discharges emitted from the body & each time this happened, the panic sticken mob scattered! My wife caused one of these moments of terror when her father told her to sit on the lion & made ready to photograph the scene.

The resultant photo was devoid of any image of my wife, she'd headed for the hills when the lion gave a snarl like burp!