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Thursday, March 15, 2012
We were met with a mystery. Two, in fact. The first one was fairly obvious. An entire row of tatami mats had been stolen and the only indication was the open skylight three meters up. What anybody would want with those mats is beyond me.
As we stared at the expanse of plywood left bare by the cambrioleurs, another subject came up.
A lioness was roaming around the village. My friend explained how the police had descended upon her neighborhood, warning the inhabitants to stay indoors. Helicopters circled the village. Oddly, enough they seemed concerned with the neighborhoods south of the tracks because we in the north hadn't heard anything. As another friend arrived, we heard that the lion had escaped from the neighboring circus school and that it had eaten a few goats in our village. Soon, night had fallen and it was with growing angst that I cracked open a window....enough to let in some cool air-- not enough to fit a lion's head.
As I drove back home I saw, with fresh eyes, all of the people that could be seen walking around outside. Next to our house, in the big field, a man was walking his dog with his young son. As I peered into the darkness beyond, I could almost hear the movie music reaching its blood curdling crescendo.
The next day, Big Sister came home with all sorts of fabulous stories from her classmates. Three of them had seen the lion lurking in their yards. One had heard its low rumble in the still of the night. Big Sister imagined what it would do to the couch if it got inside.
The official story is that they simply don't know if there really is a lion out there. Comforting, isn't it?