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19 Apr, 2024
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Lionese Lessons!!!- Article by Gareth Jones

Lionese Lessons- The Nairobi National Park

Just imagine if we understood Lion talk!…Cleo the little lion cub lay on her back with her mother in the long soft green grass, under the tall leafy trees, almost next to the main gate. As Cleo lay there for some time, a low grumbling noise could be heard occasionally, “Mama!!..what is that noise we keep hearing?” Mama replied in a knowing tone “Well my cub …we know them as “grumble-shines”, they have strange rolling legs and always seem to be in a mood as they growl where ever they go, and they also do not smell good and are filled with humans”. Cleo thought for a while and then said “But Mama why do so many “grumble-shines” go past us all the time?” Mama replied “Well my cub, there are many theories, but the baboons seem to know the main reason after listening carefully to the humans talking, as I listen to the baboon jabber-jabber-jabber every day, and my understanding is that the many humans go through the gate in their “grumble-shines” to “LOOK FOR LIONS!!”. They are known to rumble around for hours in the heat and dust, just to try and find one of us, then when they see us the humans behave very strangely, they point funny things at us that click and sometimes flash brightly, and some of them even climb on top of their “grumble-shines”. “Wow Mama!! ….that is really crazy!” said little Cleo. “We relax here all day in the cool shade while they must get so hot in their “rumble-shines”.

Early the next morning a vervet monkey chattered the local bush news for a nearby treetop. Uharaaw rolled over and laughed as hard as a full-grown lion can laugh, nearby Roaruh the lioness purred to him “ What is it?” Uharaaw replied joyfully “The humans have called me Cheru, and have images of me in many places, even on their little clicky machines, the monkey says I’m quite famous”. “Wooaw” coughed Roaruh, “But why do humans want to give us funny-sounding names?” Uharaaw muttered, “I’m not sure, but the monkey says many of us have names like Ujanja, Mohawk, Sirikoi, Embakasi, Elsie, Mica, Sofie, Solo, Kitili, Morana etc…!!!”

Roaruh lay quietly for a few minutes as she thought about the names, suddenly she had a revelation “What if the humans actually like us, giving us names because they care enough to want to know us?” “That’s crazy” grunted Uharaaw. “We already have our own lioneeze names that we give each other mostly according to be by the way we sound and act. If only humans could understand us they could just call us by our real names!” Just then the monkeys shattered again, and they were both amazed at what was said. The monkey said, “I have heard through the bush shatter from the marabous who live in the human place that there are many pictures of lions and that some humans actually want to protect lions so that they can live naturally in peace, that is why they give lions human-sounding names so when a particular lion does something then it can become famous.”

As royalty, they received this news gracefully, yawned, and fell asleep. Well, my “tongue in cheek” theory as to why lions are actually called lions, is directly related to what they do most, and simply speaking they just “lyin’” around most of the time. So maybe “lyin’” was then spelt as “lion”, well I don’t think I am lying either. In reality, lions are typical cat species and can spend from 18 to 20 hours either sleeping or just lazing around.

In a world that can be so morbidly serious, it is good to imagine and indulge in some humorous moments, for it is written that “the joy of the Lord is our strength!”Have fun on your next safari, and listen very carefully when you see lions, they might just be speaking lionese!

Lionese Lessons – A Good Lionese Lesson H&S Magazine A top Magazine in Kenya & Africa

LioneseGareth Jones – Nairobi Park Dairy – A passionate writer & photographer