Wyld Kingdom: lions

Those who study nature say that the lion has three main characteristics. The first is that it loves to roam amid mountain peaks. If it happens that the lion is pursued by hunters, it picks up their scent and obliterates the traces behind it with its tail. As a result, they cannot track it. The second characteristic of the lion is that when it sleeps, it seems to have its eyes open. The third characteristic of the lion is that when a lioness gives birth to her cubs, she produces them dead and watches over them for three days, until their father comes on the third day and breathes into their faces and restores them to life.

A Lion and a Winged Dragon

Where men are concerned, it is the nature of lions not to grow angry unless they are harmed. An example which thoughtful men should heed; for men grow angry even when they have not been harmed, and they oppress the innocent, although Christian law bids them set even the guilty free. The compassion of lions is apparent from endless examples. They spare those whom they have brought down. They allow captives whom they encounter to return home. They vent their rage on men rather than women. They do not kill children except in time of great hunger.

Strange yet True.

A Lion and a Winged Dragon, after 1277, Franco-Flemish
Digital images courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program
Text on this page from translation of Aberdeen Bestiary, copyright 1995, Aberdeen University

~ this page pub. 24 October 2013 ~
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