Champion Kimani's All Rights Reserved, ROM

Ch. All Rights Reserved Ch. All Rights Reserved

It was July, 1954, in the Tuli Block, Bechunanaland, when leaning back in his special canvas chair under a shady tree, Mr. G. Merwe could Vividly recall every one of the nine scenes in which his old favorite Ridgeback "Leeuw" had bayed lions for him. As the trail became hotter "Leeuw" would become more cautious. Silently working his way from the leeward to ascertain the true position, he would eventually come to a dead point, with raised paw biding his time giving his master ample time to come up with and be ready. Calculating, cool, almost mischievously he would streak into the lair, nipping the lion into action; defiantly - and - successfully - challenging it into the open to a battle of wits and endurance.

Eight times he had thus succeeded in pinning down his lion and had emerged unscathed, but he was getting on in years. The old gladiator had to depend on more experience than agility when he cornered his ninth lion on the banks of limpopo. An overhanging branch impeded his way as the lion struck and merciless claws pierced his chest, rupturing a lung. By the morning "Leeuw" was dead. His remains are buried where the mopani leave rustle, where shy, nocturnal Bushbuck browse and the dawn is still greeted by the rolling echoes of the lion's roar.

No tombstone there...had there been. I felt the epigraph would have read...
"One of the noblest of his kind
Unflinching companion and
Understanding friend"