LEOPARD IN THE CITY tells the tale of a leopard, a real leopard of the jungle, who suddenly finds himself in the center of a huge European city.
If seen, even by a single human being, he knows his fate would be sealed—either with a bullet through his heart or the sting of a tranquilizer gun, followed by a lifetime behind bars at the city zoo.
And who’s to say which would be worse? In the zoo he would live out his days being gawked at as an anomaly, the famous mystery leopard from who-knows-where, the wild beast everybody read about in the newspapers, the one who disrupted life in the city and then was caught.
What he really needs is a miracle.
In order to avoid detection, he only moves about in the shadows deep in the night. Finding no edge to the city, no place where the city ends and the jungle begins, he sets himself the task of learning the ways of human beings. By understanding them he hopes to discover a loophole, a way out.
Befriended by a house cat, he comes to understand that long before human beings domesticated cats and dogs, they domesticated themselves: they tamed their own wild natures. It was by harnessing themselves that they were then able to harness nature’s laws, which led ultimately to the engineering of skyscrapers and the angled grid of streets which appear to have no end, and through which the leopard is now forced to navigate.
Should he give up the dream of escape and follow the path of domestication as laid out by house cats, whose ancestors sacrificed their wild natures for security? Is it true, as house cats would have it, that the way to freedom is to submit willingly to domestication? Does way to salvation really lie in captivity? Does freedom come from in accepting subjugation? Is safety truly found not in liberty, but in the confinement, in the comfortable fate of a house cat living a privileged life of leisure with a secure place by the fire?
Available in Paperback and Kindle eBook editions
Leopard in the City
City Lion Press, 2018
84 pages / 5.25" X 8" (13.3 X 20.3 cm)
45 Black & White Photographs
While the city in which these events unfold is imaginary and could be any modern metropolis, Leopard in the City is richly illustrated with photographs from the city of Vienna.
And though the city is found on no map, can we say for certain that the leopard is also but a figment of someone’s imagination?
Who knows—he could be you or me.