A Lion in the Bedroom, by Pat Cavendish O'Neill
A Lion in the Bedroom tells the story of Pat Cavendish O'Neill's charmed life among the glittering names of the twentieth century and how all changed when she was gifted a tiny lion cub.
[...] I then took my safari off to the Tana and used one of Stan's old camp sites high on the banks under some large duom palms overlooking the river. I had been here on several occasions and considered myself fairly familiar with this part of Kenya. There were beaches and pools. Tana loved playing chase and we would charge around splashing in all the shallow rivulets. I always kept an eye out for crocodile as there were a vast number of these huge monsters, just waiting for the unwary. Prehistoric and sinister, they would sleep on the banks, lying so still that it was often difficult to pick them out. Tim Tom also loved these games and would go skipping along. Although he was old enough to be weaned off the bottle, he still insisted on his favourite tipple. He had grown little horns and kept practising battle formations with myself and Tana. I had put cork stoppers on them so that he couldn't get too carried away. I always carried a large double camp bed that Tana and Tim Tom shared with me. Not that it left me much room, especially with the dogs and whatever animal I was bringing up on a bottle at the time. As I've said, I have always found that sharing one's sleep with wild animals makes them much tamer. I think it is the constant bodily contact that gives them the security they lack when they lose their natural parents. I had been given little Tim Tom the Thompson Gazelle when he was just a few days old. His mother had been killed and this beautiful creature had been found lying in the grass. For years, he was a constant part of my life. He would sleep at the bottom of the bed so he did not interfere with Tana who lay beside me, her head on the pillow, breathing short lion puffs into my ear at night. During our travels, Tim Tom occupied the front seat of the International. When I was driving, he would have the whole front seat to himself but when Stan was with us, he would lie next to me. He would curl up as soon as the car was in motion and remain asleep for the entire journey, only waking to be fed and to get out to spend a penny. Once, we had left Stan in his camp on the Tana river and I was driving to Mombasa when a vulture which had been eating some carrion on the side of the street flew up into my windscreen. The noise gave Tim Tom such a fright that he leapt out of my fast moving car and I watched in horror as he tumbled over and over. Slamming on the brakes, I raced over, expecting to find him dead. He was alive but in a state of shock with a broken front leg. I wrapped him up and bandaged his leg as best I could, using some branches for splints. Then I drove as fast as possible to the vet, in tears most of the way. [...]
This is an excerpt from the memoires: A Lion in the Bedroom, by Pat Cavendish O'Neill.
Title: A Lion in the Bedroom
Author: Pat Cavendish O'Neill
Publisher: Jonathan Ball
Cape Town / Johannesburg, South Africa, 2004
ISBN 9781868422098 / ISBN 978-1-86842-209-8
Softcover, 15x23 cm, 592 pages, several bw and colour photos
Cavendish O'Neill, Pat im Namibiana-Buchangebot
A Lion in the Bedroom is a heartgoing friendship story from a rich girl meeting a tiny lion cub.
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