I’d Snarl, Too

by An Ordinary Man (the novel)

He wanted to find an appropriate surface – almost anything horizontal – lay her down on it and begin unfastening things, nuzzling where the sweat collected so she knew a shower would not be allowed because he did not want to wait that long. Fresh-scrubbed was lovely, but sometimes as-found was better; earthy, pungent, true.
“Hi, Dad,” Sean said, again from behind him, his feud with his sibling over. This is why he never managed to carry out ravishments anymore; you never knew where or when a kid would materialize. Lionesses will not mate after they have cubs so the prince that dethrones the pride male will often kill the deposed’s young to bring the females back in season so that he can mate with them. But after his own are born, the new king is reduced to lying around, waiting for the females to go into heat on their own accord after the new set of cubs gets older. So, Richard told himself, he’s no worse off than the king of the jungle. Last month he had consoled himself by noting at least he did not have to crack heads with sexual competitors like a bighorn ram.


The King of the Jungle showing his mixed emotions to a young interloper.

photo: Oregon Zoo/Shervin Hess/REUTERS