The Hard Life Of A Male Lion

I was watching lions on television when
it occurred to me the life of male lions is
harder than that of female lions. At birth, then
throughout her entire adult life…but not for his…

a lioness remains a valued member of the pride.
A male, however, soon is driven away by
the dominant male to lead a nomadic life, to hide
or flee from older males - unwelcome wherever he tries.

For years his life is full of hardship, existing alone,
unless with one or two other young males an alliance
is formed - a banding between bachelors ‘til fully grown.
They must constantly roam, no place for a long dalliance.

To gain a territory and a pride of his own,
an adult male must become the strongest, fiercest fighter
around, to defeat a dominant male in a battle full-blown.
Many a young male dies in such attempts. Not much brighter

is his future should he win! Now, as pride leader, the pride
of females becomes his to constantly defend. If he stays fit,
his reign as king of beasts might last three years on the outside.
His constant fighting…I wondered if it was really worth it?

But then, the TV showed a dominant male and one
of his pride’s females performing their mating ritual.
They ‘mated’ four times each hour all day and still weren’t done.
All night, all through the next day, their pace was continual.
Four times hourly for three days…Yeah, his fighting is worth it!!

Harry Edward Gilleland      06.02.02