Hah! I knew she wouldn't notice. She's always so busy with that tiny dog of hers. When they went out for a walk this morning, I took my chance. I nicked the camera, went to Catanzaro, and I found exactly what I was looking for.
As a young cub, I remember curling up next to my father asking to hear The Story. When my father was much younger, he was beautiful, but he had always been in the shadow of his older brother, who was one of the best hunters anyone could remember.
One day as my father was roaming around the Kalahari hoping to stumble across a just-killed antelope to share with the pride, he came across a strange-looking creature playing in the sand. My father remembered his father telling him about such things--men--and that they would only harm us if we weren't nice to them.
So my father asked him a question.
"What are you doing there?"
"I am creating," the man responded, continuing to make large swirls in the sand without looking at my father. "What are you doing there?"
My father, seeing that this man was friendly, had decided to play a bit with him. "I am looking to kill. Roooooaaaaaaar!"
The man turned to my father, and his eyes quickly swelled with tears. He was quite thin with long hair and beard and his pale legs shook as he stumbled to his feet and stood before the lion at least twice his size. He gripped my father's head between his hands, smoothed some sand from his mane, and kissed my father's wet nose.
"It is you I have been looking been for," said the man. "I am an artist, and I have been asked to design a door for a very important building in a place far from here. You must come with me. You must be my model."
And so my father, who had not yet met my mother, left his pride for Italy, traveling with Leonardo for many years before returning to the Kalahari. My father's face became a part of many of Italy's most famous buildings, as well as some that aren't so famous.
So imagine my delight when Sognatrice chose me to be her lion in the Shameless Lions Writing Circle. I was going back to Italy! I could finally see my father's doors!
And this morning I had my chance.
For anyone who hasn't been to the old part of Catanzaro, let me tell you, it's confusing, and no one seems to know the names of the streets when you ask them. I wandered in and out of the tiny alleys for hours before I came to a little square, the exact place my father had once described to me.
And there he was. My father's gorgeous eyes staring back at me after all these years.
Isn't he beautiful? Can you see the resemblance?
My father so loved this artist and was so grateful for all of the good things he brought to him that when I was born, he named me Leonardo to honor him.
And now here I am back at home with Sognatrice. I tried to sneak the camera back to its spot, but of course my whole secretive plot was foiled when I realized that I needed her fingers to type this. She's a good lion caretaker, though. She didn't yell or anything.
Turns out she's a sucker for a good story.
(That's me on the sidebar! I'm famous!)
P.S. Buon weekend!
P.P.S. I am aware that Photobucket has become Meaniebucket and decided that I've exceeded my bandwidth for the month so now they've placed these really ugly notices where all of the Photobucket photos used to be. I'm working on it, so please pardon the inconvenience--especially those in a feed reader, who will now get more updates than they ever bargained for.