The day lions chased me in to a van and drove me to a castle

It was the morning after the wedding. I’d picked up a cappuccino from Kafka’s and found myself sitting on a bench in Thornton Park with a book when from the bushes across the path a menacing lion hungry for fresh meat began pouncing toward me! I was frozen with fear. With strength and agility the lion closed meters in a fraction of a second and suddenly leaped with claws outstretched straight at my throat. I finished the rest of my cappuccino, replaced my bookmark and then dashed for the open door of a random white van that happened to be parked at the curb nearest me. The lion tripped and fell off the bench and died!! Like right there, before I even made it to the van but I thought “there could be more out there” and actually that’s not true. I said it right out loud, I said

“I think there could be more out there.”

And the passengers of the van alertly pulled me in through the door and off we sped around the corner.

The van was full of other people. It was bouncing and swaying from side to side as the driver maneuvered through the morning streets with purpose. I couldn’t read so I decided to acknowledge that other human beings were in my immediate presence.

“What the hell just happened?”

The first one was a tower builder. He said the same thing happened to him just while he was hanging out in an alley thinking about the next tower he was going to erect. A lion just came out of nowhere.

The next one was a lawyer, and he told me to never talk to the cops.

“Alright but what about the savage predators that have chased us in to this scenario?” I asked. “Where are we even going?”

He didn’t answer, and so I watched him and waited patiently. His blank stare was focused on the driver. The driver was also a lion.

When I asked where we were going I learned we’d be stopping at Starbucks to pay our penance. After that our training would soon begin.



We’d been conscripted. We were taken to a castle outside the city and registered in a training program.


As it turned out I had been chosen for this team as an embedded photographer. Apparently they conscript for that too.

I don’t know who they are.


They trained us to not shoot the high-vis guys, but to instead shoot random strange objects.


And the training intensified when adversarial sparring amongst the team was introduced.




Towers, remember.


Strength training involved several reps of nonsensically hammering a loud box with many lights.


And after graduating from the simulator we continued to develop our skills in various state of the art combat vehicles.








We learned that one of our early missions would involve the delicate tapping of porous white balls in a jungle environment and quickly developed strategies involving the cooperation of the local dinosaurs.





But when the lion returned and chased us back in to the van we were left wondering at our fate once again.


Lol, that guy.



Once inside the van, a friendly horse explained to me that we would be fed fresh produce and ice cream and then led to a ceremonial running of her peers before being set free from the labour of our training.






The lion advised us to remember what we had learned and keep our skills sharp, knowing that some day our expertise would be called upon when it would be needed most.



Then I turned in to a horse-human briefly and accidentally terrified some nearby children who happened to be beyond my equine gaze.



The horsepeers ran in a circle enthusiastically. It was a lasting reminder to do what ever you’re doing with conviction even when you stand nothing to gain from it aside from another lap around the circle with a wealthy frail white guy standing on your back and whipping you repeatedly because the people love it. We learned a lot that day. We pass these lessons on.



Also check out these amazing cats.



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