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What I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up
What I Wanted to be When I Grew Up
When I was a little girl of about 5 or 7 I wanted to grow up to be a mountain lion. The mountain lion was everything I admired. Strong, swift, graceful, a loner...yes even at that young age I knew I loved being alone.
By age 5, I was the second oldest, middle girl, or third youngest, depending on your outlook. We had 3 girls and 1 boy in the family at the time...the 4th girl wouldn't come along until I was 9. As the middle girl, I was my father's. My mother got the first girl. My father the second. My mother the third. Luckily for Dad, the fourth child was a boy.
Don't Eat Lion!
We were on vacation and my parents were going to cook steaks. I saw the packaging and it said lion steaks. (In my 6 year old mind, it said lion, now I realize it said loin.) I was outraged!! I was going to grow up to be a mountain lion, my favorite show was Kimba, the White Lion, and my parents were trying to feed me lion steaks. I would not eat steak for several years after this.
My Love of Animals
I loved animals, I still do. My Mother will tell me stories about how she would be cooking dinner and I would stand and tell her all the facts I had read about animals for that day. Funny thing is my son did this to me. I had several books about animals. One that I had gotten for Christmas had every one of us kid's favorite animals circled, with our names written by them. The lions were mine.
Animal have always embodied the best of life for me. Dogs love you no matter what. Cats love me no matter what. Our horse loved my father best, although only the kids took care of him. Animals are the embodiment of unconditional love. If you don't like humans, try animals, they are much more pure.
Mountain Lions are the ultimate animal. They are strong and sleek, agile and graceful. They do not share their lives with others, except maybe their children for a few years. Mountain Lions do not need anyone. They are deadly, adaptable and beautiful. Mountain Lions do not rely on anything but themselves, and even at five years of age I knew this was to be admired.
Mountain lions are crepuscular, meaning you will most often see them at dawn or dusk, during the twilight hours. People have also spotted them during the day.
These animals are so adaptable that they don't care what you call them. You can call them mountain lion, catamount, puma, cougar or panther. They thrive in a variety of habitats. Mountain lions live from northern Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes in South America. From the swamps of Florida to the southern Californian desert. All up and down the Rockie Mountains and the west coast.
It is reported that the mountain lion suffered local extinction in north eastern America. I personally do not believe it. I saw a dead mountain lion cub in the early 1980's. It was found frozen in the north end of New Jersey by some friends. This cat had the spots and the long tail of a mountain lion cub. More recently, mountain lions have been reported in Conneticut.
Another friend's father brought a mountain lion cub home from a hunt in the Rockies. I actually bottle fed it. I used to go daily just to see the cub. It was precious. However, it's illegal to own a wild animal in New Jersey, so they had to give it up. I would say bottle feeding the cub was one of the highlights of my life.
I was heartbroken for many years when I found out I could not grow up to be a mountain lion. They told me you could grow up to be anything in America! It just wasn't fair. However, HubPages changed all that. My dream has come true (at least in a picture).
(NOTE: My first avatar here at HubPages was a mountain lion. And so, after many years, I had finally gotten my wish.)
My second wish was to be a jockey. That was a no-go also. I was already 5 foot when I was 10. After that I don't remember actually wanting to be anything.
- Keep Me Wild - Mountain Lions
Another good link from California. They have a poster that you can download. It tells you to never run from a mountain lion and stress the fact that "if you are attacked, fight back." I got a giggle out of that, what else would you do?
- MOUNTAIN LION FOUNDATION
The Mountain Lion Foundation is dedicated to saving mountain lion. It has some excellent advice on how to keep them away if you share your "range" with these large cats.