SHANE SIMBA SEEKS A DEITY
A converted cannibal is one who, on Friday, eats only fishermen.
Aslan, famed lion from The Chronicles of Narnia....
“Maurice, do you read C.S. Lewis?”
This was a question thrown at me by my lion and very presidential boss. I had to gather my scattered thoughts that had been on an interesting male I had met last night at one of Bertram Baboon’s parties.
“Sir, I don’t believe I have…”
“Don’t call me sir, Maurice,” requested Shane Simba for the thousandth time.
“Yes, sir, uh, Shane. I haven’t read Lewis.”
“Read the Chronicles of Narnia, Maury. There is a lion that is very close to the human god, Jesus. He fascinates me.”
“I shall go to the book store tomorrow,” I told him.
He went to his bookshelf and pulled out a beautifully bound copy and handed it to me.
“Read this and keep it safe, Maury. I am beginning to believe.”
Solly Simba had visited the pride law firm that day, eaten dinner with his parents and decided to go to the Watering Hole Pub. His sister, Staci, had also dined with Shane and Betty. She joined him on his jaunt to the Masai Mara’s favorite kicking back spot. Staci had remained unmarried after her very friendly divorce from Ashley Lyon. She had two cubs. The siblings had to make their way through the crowded main entrance to the main bar. Heads turned in the direction of Solly, who was a dead ringer for his dad. Ashley Lyon was at the bar and greeted his ex-wife with hugs and kisses. He was chatting with a striking female of the cougar persuasion.
“This is Evangeline Cougar. She’s just joined her grandparents in the Mara,” said Ashley by way of introduction.
Evangeline stuck a slim hand out to Solly and Staci.
“You must be related to Bernard Cougar,” said Staci.
“I’m his great niece. My grandparents are Carl and Georgia Cougar. I’m a doctor and will be working for the Tigeres-Lyon Clinic.
She kept cutting her eyes at the striking Solly as she chatted with Staci.
Ashley Lyon was in a touchy situation. He wanted to bed Evangeline that night but now his ex-wife was present. This presented problems. Staci took Ashley’s arm possessively and steered him to a booth. This left Solly and Evangeline at the bar together. Bummer thought Ashley with an imperceptible shrug of his shoulders.
“You’re a doctor?” asked Solly.
“Yes, and you are a sports star. I know my Kenyan history,” she said with a giggle.
“Nope, wrong Simba,” said Solly taking another beer from the bartender.
“Your mom is not a cheetah?” asked Evangeline with a perplexed look in her stunning eyes.
“No, that is my sister that you just met and my brother, Sean, who is probably in the sports bar as we speak. My mom is an ape.”
The cougar’s jaw dropped. Solly held back his head and laughed boldly at her consternation.
“Don’t look for resemblances, Evangeline. If you were really up on your Kenyan history, you would know that mom is the current first lady, Betty Chimpo Simba. I am a clone of my dad’s. I merely used my mom’s uterus as a jumping off place,” he continued to guffaw.
“She looks human,” sputtered Evangeline.
“Mom is a ‘made over chimpanzee’ whatever that entails. I notice you have hands instead of paws so you must be slightly familiar with cosmetic surgery,” said Solly.
“Yes, I got them here on a vacation last year. Dr. Todd Tigeres did the surgery.”
“I got mine from him too. Marvelous inventions – hands,” laughed. “Are you with Ash?”
“No, I came with some friends. Ashley was already here. Why?”
“I think I’ll invite you to dinner, if you’ll accept. My sister is not going to let go of Ash anytime this evening.”
She looked over her shoulder at the booth where Ashley was firmly in the grasp of Staci Simba. She looked back, her green eyes warming.
“You are an interesting dude. I think I will accept with alacrity.”
I was sitting with a drink and The Chronicles of Narnia when my phone rang. It was Lachlan. I was surprised. We had had almost no contact since our breakup.
“May I come over?” asked Lachlan.
I bit my tongue, figuratively and told him no. I was tired and wanted to get into my reading assignment.
“Maurice, the lioness moved out,” he said, without preface.
“That would be your business, Lachlan.”
I had made my way well into the first chapter when my doorbell rang. It was Bertram Baboon. I invited him in, poured two fingers of brandy in a snifter and handed it to him. We sat on my couch, the book lay between us. Bertram picked it up, reading the cover.
“The Chronicles of Narnia,” he said. “Those fairy tales involving a sacred lion….how on earth did you get interested in this, Maurice?”
“Shane gave it to me to read. He seems interested in the religious aspects,” I said, hoping he would drop the subject. Bertram was very caustic regarding my lion boss.
“Shane Simba is a dangerous enough animal, gods help us all if he gets real religion,” he said and then proceeded to his real reason for the visitation - some irritant that had evolved from his weird relationship with his ex-wife, Gloria Chimpo. Bertram could always be counted on to remain self-absorbed.
having received a call from my former lover, Lachlan Lion......
Bertram Baboon’s party the night before had been eclectic and elegant as was his style. A young leopard dressed in a black jacket and leather pants had entered the party scene. He lit a cigarette and looked at me with his emerald green eyes so reminiscent of my late Lawrence and rather typical of leopards in general.
“What’s your name?” he asked. “On the other hand, you look familiar to me.”
I stuck out my hand, he stuck his paw in it and we shook.
“My name is Maurice Monkee….”
“Oh, yes. You work for President Simba. I have just moved here from Uganda. It was getting sticky for leopards there.”
“I can well imagine,” I agreed.
“Let’s grab something from the bar and have a chat, shall we?”
“I’d like that.”
“I forgot to mention that my name is Gabriel. Just call me Gabby,” he said, as he put a paw gently on my back and steered me toward a couch in the far corner of Bertram’s very large drawing room.
Shane Simba sat before the desk of the Reverend Calvin Cheetah in the main office of the First Church of the Ascending Predator. Calvin nervously rearranged some paper work on his desk. Shane had been married to his sister, Catherine Cheetah, who had been killed in an automobile accident. He barely knew Shane, having lived abroad most of his adult life and returning to Kenya long after his litter mate’s demise. Now, he was wondering why the lion president had asked for this meeting.
“What deity do we worship in this church?” asked Shane.
“Well, uh, Sir, it would be…..” Calvin looked nervous. “A predator….yes, a predator that has ascended into the heavens. That would be it, sir. Yes.”
Calvin’s relief was short lived. He noticed Shane’s intense green eyes narrowing.
“Does it have to do with Aslan, the lion in the Chronicles of Narnia authored by C.S. Lewis?” asked Shane, lighting a cigarette.
Calvin started to protest a cigarette being lit in the sanctity of a church setting but bit his protest off at the root. This was after all the president of Kenya. Moreover, Calvin really didn’t know what was worshipped in this church so best he keep quiet regarding the cigarette.
“You haven’t read the book, Calvin?” asked Shane, a growing intensity lighting his eyes.
“No, I believe I saw the film though, y-y-es, I saw the film,” stammered Calvin wishing this interview would end post haste.
“I think the lion, Aslan, should be declared the predator deity for this church,” declared Shane seeming pleased to have the problem dealt with.
“Well, Sir, lions are not the only predators among the big cats. We have other species that attend this church. Mrs. Bernard Cougar, who is the life support of this church monetarily, is a leopard. Her husband is a cougar. She might take grim exception to the fact that a lion has been declared the main deity….”
“I am the President. Lions have governed Kenya for many years now. We are the major predators in Africa.”
“I will have to call the church committee and put forth your idea, Mr. President,” said Calvin, feeling his own fierce cheetah loyalties surfacing.
“Do that right away, Reverend Cheetah. By the way, how are Cynthia and Dorian?” inquired Shane of his former in-laws and Calvin’s parents.
“Quite well, Sir.”
Shane rose from his chair and shook hands with Calvin.
“Be sure to convene that meeting right away,” he commanded. “I am sending the church library the full C.S. Lewis collection, including Narnia. Be sure to read them yourself.”
“I will be sure to do that, Mr. President.”
Shane walked to his limousine accompanied by his Masai guards. Calvin sighed and as the president’s car drove out of sight, he said, “Dick-head.”