Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Amid All The Politics And Strife, Something Different
Back in 1998 23 year old Andrew Cockles was taking a gap year following his graduation with a first in law from the University of Canterbury, and travelling through South Africa when he encountered a lion. The lion was thin and emaciated, and Andrew noticed it was limping badly. He offered the lion some of his food, and bit by bit won the animal's trust, enabling him to examine the poor creature's front right paw, where he discovered an abcess caused by a huge thorn. He used his first aid kit and some brandy to clean the abcess and remove the thorn, before bandaging the paw.
He returned the next day with a goodly supply of raw meat from the butcher, fed the lion and changed the dressing. He had also had the sense to bring a bucket and a jerry can of fresh water. Needless to say, the meat and drink were meat and drink to the hungry lion, and Andrew had established a routine which he maintained for over a week, until one day the lion was no longer there to greet him.
Hoping that his unusual new friend had returned to the wild and was now able to fend for himself, Andrew carried on his travels, and eventually returned to Tunbridge Wells and became a solicitor, specialising in taking on cases in civil rights and those where a miscarriage of justice was suspected or claimed.
He married Yvette in 2005 and in 2009 they decided to take a winter holiday in South Africa, to get away from the nasty weather in England.
Andrew hired a Toyota Amazon and they set out to try and re-track his earlier foray into the Veldt. Several idyllic days passed, and they were just about to set off one morning, having struck camp and reloaded the 4X4 when a large male lion emerged from the bush only a few yards from their vehicle. The lion approached slowly, sniffing the air, and then sat down looking at Andrew.
Yvette was rather scared, and was tugging Andrew's arm, trying to get him to get into the Toyota, but he was rooted to the spot. "It'll be fine, Yvette, " he said, "I think it's the lion I helped! It's amazing - after all these years, he still remembers me!"
With that, he boldy walked up to the lion and reached out to lift up it's paw.
The lion bit his head off, spat it out, and dragged the rest of the lifeless solicitor off into the bushes.
Yvette threw up, and had to drive back to town on her own. She even left the head behind.
Now, was it the same lion or not?
Posted by Hacked Off at 19:23