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Rated: E · Fiction · Animal · #2256039
The Writer's Cramp 8/7/21
Featured in "Action/Adventure Newsletter (August 11, 2021)

Great Night on The Porch

It was a great night to sit on the porch. The warm breeze kept the bugs away. George and I sat on the swing, just enjoying each other’s company.

A black blur streaked past the house.

“Did you see that?” George asked.

“Probably that cat that hangs around. I think it belongs to Ally. I swear that cat never stays home. Always roaming around.”

We rocked the swing a few more moments. It was getting toward dusk. Shadows started to gather under the trees.

Three dogs ran past, tails between their legs.

“Now that’s something you don’t see every day.”

“I think they belong to Mrs. Faillen over on 3rd. Now she has a fenced yard. How’d they get out?”

Just as we thought about heading inside for the night, a loud roar came from the bushes next door. And not just any roar. This is the roar of a big cat.

Next door is an abandoned house, a house someone bought a while back but never did anything with. The bushes are overgrown. We put up a fence to block the view. Now beyond this fence comes another roar, even louder this time. Another blur of a furry animal streaks across our lawn.

“What was that?” I ask George.

“Now Patty, why would I know every animal in the neighborhood? Especially one traveling at the speed of sound?”

“Not the animal, that roar. That is no ordinary alley cat. Sounds like a lion.” I edged closer to the door.

“A lion? You’re crazy. No lion would be roaming around here. The zoo is blocks away. They keep the cages locked, Patty. No lions get out, I’m pretty sure.”

Another roar, this one a little closer.

“Says you, I tell you, that’s a lion. Or tiger, or bear.”

“Oh my!”

“Stop it. I’m serious. Let’s call someone.” I grabbed George and pulled him into the house.

“Check the news. I’m calling the police.” I dialed 911 as George got the news and sure enough, it was the big lead story.

Larry Jordan, the news guy, announced that the big lion from the zoo escaped today when the new attendant somehow forgot to lock the outside door. Investigations have begun as to why safety precautions were not followed.

“Huh, you don’t say…” George sat, engrossed in the coverage of the incident.

“Yes, officer, I’m pretty sure it’s the escaped lion.

“Yes, sir. 19 First Street East. Blue house. Patty and George Johnson.

“Yes, sir. No, we’re inside now.

“No, sir. No, we didn’t see the animal.

“Because we heard something that sounded like a lion roaring.

“Because I know what a lion sounds like.

“No, sir. I am not an authority on lions.

“No, sir, I don’t think I will go outside to see if I see the lion in my yard.

“Yes, sir. I think we’ll wait inside. You send a car over and let the officer come to us.

“Yes, sir. Thank you.” I hung up the phone.

“So, are they coming over?” George asked. He kept one eye on the TV coverage.

“They wanted us to go outside and check for the lion, but I said we wouldn’t, so they’ll send a car over. I don’t feel like being lion lunch today.”

“Heck of a deal. I gotta tell you, that’s not something you want to see every day.” George went to the front door.

“You got that right. I think I’ll just sit right here, wait for help.” I took a seat in my favorite chair.

George let out a hoot and holler. “Patty, you gotta come see! Hurry!”

“What is it this time?”

Out the front door, on the porch, looking inside the house, was the largest lion. Staring straight at us, those eyes looking at George then me. Suddenly it let out a loud roar. It rattled the glass, hurt my ears, set off the alarm in the Nickles’ car across the street.

Then that lion calmly turned around a few times and laid down. It laid down right in front of our door. Totally blocked our door and started to lick its paws, its tail, clean its fur. Just as if it was at home, a big giant pussycat.

A police car screeched to a halt in the street. No one got out. Then a van from the zoo arrived. No one got out. Then the news truck arrived. No one got out.

The lion remained on our porch all night. We could hear it moving back and forth, growling a bit now and then. The police had finally gotten brave enough to put a barrier around our house, the zoo keepers kept talking to decide how to capture the escapee while the TV crew kept filming the drama.

George and I finally went to bed. I dreamt of cats, not sheep. Cats running, cats jumping, cats roaring. When we woke, we checked on the lion. It was still on the porch, but suddenly moved as we looked outside. The lion calmly walked down the sidewalk to the abandoned place next door and into that house.

The zoo keepers scurried about with all assortment of guns and devices. We ran to the second floor to get a better view. After a few attempts, they were able to get that lion sedated and taken back to the zoo. We watched as the media circus departed and the police pulled out.

George and I went out to the porch, sat in the swing. It was a beautiful day with a small breeze to keep the bugs away.

“That was a heck of a deal. Now that’s something you don’t see every day.” George said.

W/C 948

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