My Keeper

My Keeper

A Story by Blair Palmerlee

Bakari, the lion, is trapped between tame sensibility and the call of the wild.

My first taste of human flesh was accidental. It honestly was. I can say with unbiased certainty that it was Steve's fault that it ever came to that point.
We began our feeding relationship slowly; at first Steve would throw a red, dripping steak toward my feeding bowl, missing every time. After a while he took the time to actually walk my food to the bowl, which made for a much more cleanly meal. Then Steve became really daring and began feeding me by hand, scratching me behind my ears, as he did.
I never even entertained the idea of hurting Steve, while he did this. I enjoyed the fresh food and a good scratch. The people watching enjoyed the spectacle, and Steve enjoyed being the courageous master of his own fate, I suspect. Ironic that becoming a master would eventually make him a victim. 
It was during the springtime, when smell of blooming plants pervaded the air, that Steve first became forgetful. He began going off of schedule, feeding me in the morning, one day, and then feeding me at night, the next. Even a slight inconsistency brought about terrible pangs of hunger, and I found myself getting restlessly dissatisfied with every aspect of life, for want of food.
Soon Steve became even more inconsistent, skipping an entire day before feeding me again. I stand by my claim that it was because of this cycle, that I overzealously bit into Steve's hand, when he fed me the next day. 
I didn't, at first, know that I had done Steve harm until he had let out a great cry of pain. He fled, and left me with the taste of his warm blood, marinading the meat that was already in my mouth. Oh, the rapture... Oh, the joy it brought my aching stomach; my under-stimulated tastebuds. It was a taste unlike any other. The flesh of humans has as much sweetness as it has savory, flavorful body. I can say, with honesty, that it is the most fulfilling meat of any. 
That night, with a newfound food of choice, I resolved to plan my next meal, for myself. I had, up to this point, been contented to be a tame and obedient lion. But my carnivorous ambitions overwhelmed my sensibilities, and I rationalized that one last meal with Steve would be worth a lifetime of solitude. 
The next day, Steve came into my enclosure with a bandaged hand. He seemed more tentative, though I surmise it was more out of respect for my power than anything else. Slowly he raised the side of beef, offering it humbly with his good hand. I controlled my urge to grab it, and ignored Steve completely. I walked passively over to my small pool of water, and laid at its bank. 
Bewildered, Steve followed me, kneeling down at my side. He looked concerned; taken in by my feigned vulnerability. Steve asked me if I felt sick, as if I had a way of answering. 
I stood, suddenly wrapping one of my great paws about his neck. Before Steve could react, I dug my claws deep into his flesh and dragged him into the water below. Steve was struggling, people outside my cage were screaming and crying, but I paid them no mind. Within minutes Steve stopped moving and laid still. 
Knowing that Steve wouldn't stay warm for long, I pulled him from the pool and quickly tore and ate pieces of him. I was able to devour a healthy fourth of him before the authorities arrived to end the horrific scene. I was sedated, and what was left of Steve was taken away. 
There was no punishment for my crime. An official from the zoo made an announcement, in front of my enclosure, saying that animals like me depended upon a primal nature, and that I couldn't help what I had done. More caution was needed, when dealing with me. He said that my premeditated act of murder was ultimately Steve's fault; I thought it was a brilliant idea.
No one comes near me anymore. Everyday someone throws meat into my enclosure. Everyday they miss my bowl, just like Steve. I sit here and wonder: Will they ever become brave, like Steve, and try to get close to me? The very thought gives me hope. 

© 2013 Blair Palmerlee

Author's Note

Blair Palmerlee
Enjoy :)

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I love this idea, it is completely wonderful and eye opening. The only thing I might change would be when you talk about the lion's first taste of human flesh, it was a bit confusing cuz I thought he only tasted the blood, not flesh. I would just clarify that, or possibly talk about the taste of human blood and the yearning to taste the flesh, and how he revels in it once he finally makes his kill.

Posted 8 Years Ago

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Added on February 6, 2013
Last Updated on February 6, 2013
Tags: eating, human, taste, lion


Blair Palmerlee
Blair Palmerlee

Chico, CA

Writing has been my life since high school. It's a habit I can't shake, nor would I if I had the chance. more..