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What I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up

Updated on August 29, 2017
k@ri profile image

Kari was an operating room nurse for 25 years before she retired. Uplifting quotes are always wanted and Kari collects them.

Mountain lions can leap 40 feet.
Mountain lions can leap 40 feet. | Source
A small jump for a mountain lion.
A small jump for a mountain lion. | Source
Mountain lion cub
Mountain lion cub | Source

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.

Roaring mountain lion.  Look at those teeth!
Roaring mountain lion. Look at those teeth! | Source
On the hunt.
On the hunt. | Source

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

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.


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    • Moms-Secret profile image


      9 years ago from Central Florida

      This was written so long ago. I am happy that it was still here to bring me a smile today. I linked to it in one of my hubs that have nothing to do with this topic (The Young Widow - Perspective) but has a line about my never knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up.

      I thought this was perfect. Smiles are valuable for me. Thank you.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 years ago from Ohio

      ethel, I'm glad you liked it. It broke my heart when I found out I couldn't be one and now look at me! Just goes to prove all things work out in the end. :D

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Really entertaining.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 years ago from Ohio

      Madison, Maybe he wanted two :D I can't imagine I'd want to go off shift while he was on it...I would be scared of being the Jumbo Jack! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Madison Parker profile image

      Madison Parker 

      11 years ago from California

      This was so cute! I never wanted to be a mountain lion but as a child I never thought about that. We have mountain lions here in our area. Lots of them, apparently. One was spotted downtown in Monterey on top of Jack-in-the-box awhile back! Guess he wanted a Jumbo Jack!!

      Good article.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      12 years ago from Ohio

      Michael, How cool is that!!!!!!! I would sooo like to see a mountain lion in action!! Seems like you know why I like them! They focus well, they are brave, and they don't care what anyone thinks! How much better does it get??? I would love to meet a mountain lion! Can you make that happen????

      PS: I hate raccoons!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Here are a few pictures of the mountian lion and the raccoon in Morrison,Co April 9th 2009

    • profile image

      Michael Fox 

      12 years ago

      I had a mountain lion attack a raccoon on our porch Thursday April 9th in Morrison, Co. It was attacking a raccoon for about 50min a few feet from our front door! The cougar was beautiful! The raccoon was screaming so loudly and they were both knocking over chairs and other items, including a table! It was frightening but yet my love for Mountain lions is undeniable. At one point I threw a firecracker outside of my home in hopes of scaring the cougar out of our porch, but he was unafraid, even when my tree and grass caught on fire the mountain lion was proud of his catch and would not leave the area until the police and fireman showed up. The cougar walked right next to me and it looked in to my eyes with a sense of pride. I have lived in Colorado my whole life and have always wanted a glimpse of a Mountain lion, well I got a lot more than I asked for.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      12 years ago from Ohio

      Bo, Thanks for stopping by! I think that you will have no problem being a writer, in my are! I have read every day of my life for as long as I can remember, and you are the real deal. I can't wait to read more of your hubs! :D

    • 1964human profile image


      12 years ago from Smallville Kansas


      Anything animals captures my heart! What a cool thing to want to be. I want to be a writer when I grow up, but I may have to rethink it! Everyone always wants to be a human of some kind. Your choice shows your great creativity. Excellent piece. THANKS!


      LOVE LOVE LOVE the Christian the Lion video. I hadn't watched it for a couple months, but you KNOW I linked in this AM. Thanks for the link, and any who have not seen it........ WONDERFUL

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      12 years ago from Ohio

      Hi mayhmong, Thanks for stopping by! I love the story of Christian, and that video brings tears to my eyes no matter how often I see it. Thanks for sending me the link!

    • mayhmong profile image


      12 years ago from North Carolina

      What a cute childhood story. Its funny how you would refuse to eat Loin Steak? I wouldn't blame you. I mean, I love cats, and I sure wouldn't eat them either!? Its sweet how your little one takes after you too.

      When I was a kid, you know what I wanted to be when I grow up? An adult. Der.

      Anyways, I'm sure you heard of the wonderful story of Christian the Lion and his caretaker. Its on youtube.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      12 years ago from Ohio

      Sandman, Maybe we just all need to get in touch with our "inner animal". In their innocence they retain the joy and unselfconsciousness that we sometimes forget.

      Rochelle, Thanks! The Cowardly Lion has always been one of my favorite characters...and he wasn't so cowardly in the end!

      G-Ma, I try to live up to the ideal. We all have different paths, but sharing love is a path we all can take, as you show. Thanks so much, hugs to you too!

      Netters, Thanks, I glad you liked it!

      GT, Lion or toad you are still Golden!

      Pest, Being that it would be hard to fill your shoes, you must be at least a little T-Rex!

      AE, Thanks! I try, don't always make it, but I try.

      newsworthy, Thanks, I don't know what to're very kind!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      You are a humble lioness to share this animal story in your family. Your gracefulness and beauty sit atop this hub and we are stroking your crown.

    • AEvans profile image


      12 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      What a cute story and yes your dream has come true you are a mountain lion , courage and sleek and now you wrote about it.. I love it. :):):):

    • goldentoad profile image


      12 years ago from Free and running....

      Ha! they think I have real gold thats why

    • Pest profile image


      12 years ago from A couch, Ionia, MI

      T-rex...But my church said they never existed, now look at me.

      I bet a lot of womans would like to "do' a certain toad tho!

    • goldentoad profile image


      12 years ago from Free and running....

      I should have chosen a mountain lion too, who wants to be a toad?

    • Netters profile image


      12 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

      What a nice story. Thank you.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      12 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      We are animals...people say how bad we are all the time...I don't believe it butttt.....I always wanted to be a nurse...took all the High School courses for it, worked in a hospital tray-line, preparing patients meals...but first time I saw an open wound bleeding and I passed out...I knew it wasn't my calling...

      You had a good plan, chose a great animal,and I bet you are as gentle and strong as they are, nice read my dear Thanks...G-Ma :O) Hugs & Peace

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      12 years ago from California Gold Country

      Beautiful story, and an elegant ambition for a little girl.

      I'm a Leo-- does that count? However, I am a cowardly lion. I also share my birth date (not the same year) with Bert Lahr, who played the role in the Wizard of Oz.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Great Piece. As I said in a recent Hub " I think God was doing just fine with the earth until he created people" But maybe the best of us are part animal in someway.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Great Piece. AS I said in a recent Hub " I think God was doing just fine with the earth until he created people" But maybe the best of us are part animal in someway.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      12 years ago from Ohio

      Laughing Mom, I love that picture also. King of the world! Makes me wonder how many other dreams HubPages will help me realize :))

      VioletSun, I have always loved mountain lions. I hope you find your picture, mine came from Photobucket, but I don't think you can use them to sell.

      funride, I should have known by how relaxed you look in your photo! My sign is also the tiger in the Chinese Zodiac. The descriptions do fit all felines and tigers may have been my first choice if I hadn't been American.

      CC, Thanks for stopping by! I understand, and I would miss you too much if I didn't hear from you now and again!

      Teresa, I was always a little hard headed. No one could convince me that it was loin and not lion, until the day my dyslexia let me see it for myself. :)

      Cris, Thanks, that means a lot coming from someone who can put word together and end up with magic! I've not yet seen Two Brothers, although I have it on my to-do list. I'll take your word for it and get it! (Although, I think I will cry at the end...the reason I've been putting it off.)

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      12 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      You expressed you sentiments beautifullu. So simply written yet so elegant. I also have this thing for animals and I get fixed by watching NGC and Discovery.

      Btw, have you seen Two Brothers? I think you should and you'd fall in love with lions even more :D

    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      12 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Aw! this is very sweet and very engaging. I loved the bit about the lion steaks. . . Some of my best pals are four-legged types. They can be so much wiser than humans.

    • profile image

      C. C. Riter 

      12 years ago

      Cute story my dear wonderful fan. I'm still here and will follow your hubs best I can. It's just that 'pressing' matters are heavy on me at this time. luv now, Charlie

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      12 years ago from Portugal

      While reading this hub I was thinking how much we have in common... we are both felines. I always thought I should be a tiger even before knowing it was my sign of the Chinese zodiac. I guess your mountain lion`s descrition may be the same for all felids because I thought you were talking about me LOL. Claws up :D

    • VioletSun profile image


      12 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      This made me smile; your love and elegant way of describing the mountain lion made me want to look for a picture of mountain lions that are copyright free, and use it in a set of meditaiton cards I am creating with photos of nature. Thanks for sharing your love of animals. Your photos are awesome by the way.

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 

      12 years ago

      Wow, k@ri! You were a very wise little girl for your age! And you're right--you're now a mountain lion--at least to us!

      (My favorite pic is the one of the lion laying on the tree. GREAT picture!)


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