(A dream, a short story …)
Inside the grand old Circus Marquee, the people strolled from cage to cage, taking photos of the animals, eating candy floss and laughing happily. A small boy, drinking from a coke the size of his head, gasped and stretched a fat shaking finger at a sleeping lion. Inside the tent smelled of earth, hay and animal breath.
We walked hand in hand, my sweetheart and I, happy to be there and following no specific trail. Suddenly the whole tent went dark and there was a sound of metal cracking against metal. The darkness lasted for just a few seconds, but in those seconds, the cage security system failed and all the gates sprung open. When the lights came back many of the animals were already out among the crowd. Some of the more docile ones ambled curiously out, still chewing on their suppers, while others had rushed from their cages bucking and yelping to their unexpected freedom.
Of all the zoo beasts, there were a few that were simply angry by nature. With each passing year of travelling and captivity , this anger had hardened inside them, getting darker and more twisted, and it burst out of them now like steam from a cracked pipe. They charged, growled and stamped at the panicked zoo goers. The screaming of the children and the adults was deafening underneath the vastness of the big top. There we were in the middle of all this mayhem. My senses sharpened and I felt alive and animalistic. I knew I must be brave and fearless and protect my lady at all costs. Two angry hairy things rushed at us. I faced them head on and roared a deep and fierce roar to show my lack of fear. I was their master, I was a man, I was not afraid, I was Mowgli in the Jungle Book. They dared not look me in the eye. The beasts turned and fled.
This victory was short lived. Moments later another, larger beast charged at us. This one was the colour of a Doberman and was an enormous boar-like creature with thick grey tusks. He was bigger and more crazy than the first two. I again roared a deep bellied roar but it did not register on the face of the beast. He was charging straight for us with red eyes and drooling mouth, his great hooves kicking up clouds of dust around him. Fear rose up inside me, a fear that would paralyse me and leave me dead if I were to listen to it. What could I do with this crazed, blood-thirsty thing? I had to be brave and keep us safe, but all of my instinct was telling me to run.
Everything went quiet and time got real slow. I heard a voice, clear and feminine, whispering inside me, telling me that I could defeat this thing. I knew this was my guardian angel, my very own Tinker Bell, here to help at my darkest hour. I was gripped by some powerful force, a deep and ancient knowledge that I would defeat this thing and protect my love. The black boar jumped at me with all it’s aggression and bared teeth and in a one perfectly graceful move I brought him to the ground and snapped his neck. The break was clean and a feeling of dominance and strength washed over me.