For year, I’ve had wild animal dreams. I’m walking through the woods and spot two lions or a cougar pawing the ground. I bolt and make a narrow escape indoors, slamming the door behind me. Fear dreams, I suppose, but I don’t know how to read them. Wild animals = fear or Escape = conquering fear. Not sure what the fear is, but today the people of Zanesville, OH are living my nightmare after the owner of a small zoo there was found dead—the animals’ cages open and empty. Schools are closed and the town is in lockdown as lions and tigers and bears (say it) roam the neighborhood. Let’s hope they have an accurate count or someone could be mighty surprised when a lone wolf trots by around Christmas.
Aside from the sad reality that the man committed suicide before freeing his animals, and that many of these animals have been killed, and that children could be eaten while playing in the backyard, it is kind of funny, isn’t it? The thought that you could be walking to your car headed to work, coffee in hand, when a cheetah springs from the bushes to swipe your muffin—or you. Death is hardly funny, but these feel like my dreams, manifested. And you can’t help but root for these animals that have known only a cage and that at last are enjoying a taste of freedom. Go, giraffe, I want to yell. Run on your spindly legs!
So tonight, I lend my wild animal dreams to the people of Zanesville and hope that they find a permanent home in slumbering Ohio.