If he was born a girl, his middle name would have been Honey. But he wasn’t a girl, he was boy. A boy with the look of an ancient soul. He was beautiful. And he arrived into the world roaring like a lion.
He roared for a year. Then he bounced and leapt for another. He was so quick, and I was slow. Catching and holding the little lion wrung me dry. My already brittle back shattered into unrecognizable pieces. And when I thought I could break no more, he suddenly slowed down, mellow as a cat half-sleeping in the sun.
I saw different things then. He was sure on his feet. He was happy as a sunflower. He was golden. And I was the lucky one to see him shine.
At night I could hear him purring in his sleep. He would curl in tight to my body, rubbing his strawberry mane into my neck. Mild and meek. Gentle lion.
It was then that I remembered his middle name – the one I eventually gave him. It meant ‘my angel’ and I wondered if indeed his ancient eyes were watching over me the entire time. But can the very thing that breaks you also put you back together again?
Little lion is three now. He heals me every morning. Warm kisses placed on my lips. Smooth paws wrapped around my back. I sense he’ll be watching me to the far off corners of eternity.
Little lion is strong and brave. Little lion is tender and soft.
Little lion is sweet.
Sweet as honey.