By Azariah lindo
The animals at the petting zoo loved the times when the youthful eagles came to see them. So when Uncle Sam, the leader of all the Eagles, and the owner of the petting zoo brought Tyrone the lion cub to join them, every one of the animals tried to help him learn how to get Uncle Sam’s children to like him.
Tyrone didn’t understand. He was entrapped. Why would he even care whether the children liked him or not? Plus, he was a lion, “These eagles ought to know their place.” He often thought. “I want to be free!” Tyrone proclaimed.
“Yesterday, that little yellow feathered eagle girl started crying when she came over to me, and Uncle Sam sent his catchers to lock me away as punishment for a whole week,” Tyrone griped to Simone the Chicken. “All I was doing was minding my own business. I want to be free!” Tyrone exclaimed.
“So when she came over to pet you, were you smiling?” Simone questioned, attempting to help her friend fit in.
“No! What kind of silly and irrelevant question is that Siiiimonnne?” Tyrone snapped sarcastically, emphasizing the syllables in her name. “I did not want to make friends with her, they kept me here against my own will. I favored my old friends at home just fine. I want to be free!” Tyrone whined.
“I wanted to race with my own kind, hunt, rise up on my hind legs, and Raw! Just like I normally do when I'm happy but I'm not happy so I did nothing. Absolutely nothing, and I still got in trouble for it.” He declared sadly, having no idea why the little girl eagle made it seem as if he did something wrong.
“Why don’t you do what I do?” Simone recommended to her new friend.
“Just cluck around and peck the ground, but don’t peck their shoes. They hate that. Then if it's time, go to your nest and lay an egg.” She said proudly.
But Tyrone was pretty sure he could never lay an egg, and his intention was not to make his captors happy instead of making himself happy, so he sought more advice on what to do elsewhere.
“Well, I think they are afraid of you because they think you're not friendly and you don’t always do what they want you to do. Uncle Sam’s little girls are easily scared,” said Peter the puppy, scratching his ear with his paw before he continued. “Or so they pretend to be anyway, but they can be really mean and spiteful if they don’t get their own way. Mean and spiteful regardless really. But anyhow, here is what always works for me.
Next time we are all out there, join me and my brothers and sisters, and hop and jump up and down, and pant with your tongue out, and then when the children throw sticks, run and fetch them and then rollover. And show your tummy. They love that.” Peter concluded.
This seemed like very silly advice, although he did look more like a puppy than he did a chicken, but Tyrone just wanted to be free, and if he wasn’t allowed to be just yet, he didn’t want to spend his time impressing his captors just to fit in and forget all about his home and status. His kind was supposed to be kings of the jungle.
It was a pride of lion cubs and adult ones too. Tyrone was so excited. He hadn’t seen his own kind apart from the ones he was taken from his home with and he hadn’t seen them since he got here.
“What you got to do brother,” the other lion cub enunciated hesitating and then continued. “How do I say this? You got to be less Lion ‘like’ man.” The other cub ended.
Tyrone couldn’t comprehend. He was a lion, how was he supposed to be less of a lion. This made Tyrone a little skeptical about these lion cubs, although they looked the same as he did, he wasn’t sure they shared much else in common, but Tyrone continued to listen to the cub’s advice anyway. He thought he had more to gain than to lose by listening, at least.
“So, brother, my name is Jermaine. The first thing you need to know is that we lions are different from the other animals in ways you don’t know yet. They treat us differently and worse then all the other animals here.” Kadeem paused and looked back at the other cubs, some of which looked really quite strange to Tyrone. Very unnatural costumes that were very ‘un-lion-like’.
“Have you ever heard about Jim Crow?” Kadeem asked Tyrone.
“No! I don’t remember meeting any crows. Especially one named Jim.” Tyrone answered.
“No, no no! Jim Crow ain’t no real crow. It's a nickname for this system. The one that allows Uncle Sam to enforce segregation and unequal rights on the farm. That means they treat us badly and get away with it.” Kadeem paused for a moment before continuing. “Look if you don’t fit in, you aren’t going to get a job, get some money and you're going to have more problems bro.
Don’t you want to find a nice lioness? Well, most of them like money and stuff.” Kadeem paused again for a while once more and another cub intervened.
“You have to look out for those catchers too. They will kill you if you don’t….” He hesitated and then continued correcting himself. “As a matter of fact, they will kill you regardless so you need to stay out of their way.
If you act as if you fit in you might stand a little bit more of a chance, not much, but still a little better. Maybe change up that big lion afro a little bit, perm it and tie it back so it looks like the Eagles do their feathers. You might even get a pretty eagle wife to marry. Did you know they used to kill us for even looking at them before?” He concluded.
Tyrone thought back at how he got into big trouble because of the little eagle girl before so he shuddered at the thought of marrying anyone like her. Not in a bad way, he just didn’t think it to be very safe. Actually, he hated her a lot to come to think of it.
At that point, Tyrone wasn’t as enthusiastic as he first was about meeting these cubs, but at least he wasn’t as alone as he initially was.
He thought he would continue walking around the farm, maybe in the same direction hoping he might meet some more cubs, but maybe with some better advice for him, and more sense.
“You see brother, sometimes you just have to accept the painful truth and accept what is. We’ve been captured bro and there’s no way out just yet.” A voice called out to Tyrone shortly after.
“That doesn’t mean you have to lose your roots though, like those other cubs I saw you talking to a little earlier. Those brothers are so lost they probably wouldn’t want to be free anymore even if they had a choice. That’s what’s called mental slavery. It’s a terrible thing to be both mentally and physically enslaved.” It was another cub who came out of the bushes followed by a few others.
They weren't like the other cubs, Tyrone noticed immediately. They didn’t seem to do things to themselves to look any different than their natural selves. They were all natural ‘real’ lions.
“Just look at them, so fascinated by everything that's trending, one thing after the next, consistently chasing the next fad. What a distraction from the fact that we Lions still remain at the bottom of the farm and continue to experience all types of injustices.” Revealed the cub to Tyrone. Tyrone just listened silently and attentively. This was more like it, he thought to himself.
“What’s your name?” Interrupted Tyrone suddenly. “I'm Tyrone! I haven’t been here long.”
“I’m Joshua, nice to meet you, Tyrone. One day the creator of everything will put things back into order. Have you heard about Yahawah’s people? They too were put into bondage for quite some time very much like us here at the farm?” Joshua asked.
“No I can’t say that I have,” Tyrone replied.
“After the father saved them from bondage in Egypt many, many years ago, he also gave them laws to keep and made an agreement with them. It’s in the book of Deuteronomy in the Bible. If they followed his laws they would be blessed with all the blessings mentioned in that book. However, if they failed to follow his laws then they would be cursed with the curses mentioned in that book which included them forgetting their heritage.” Joshua stopped as it seemed as though Tyrone wanted to ask a question.
“So what happened to them now after all these years, that was thousands of years ago right?” Tyrone asked enthusiastically.
“Well let’s just say today in the outside world, beyond this farm, is a much greater farm filled with all the people of the world. Among those people are a peculiar people who were enslaved and can’t quite remember who they were before the slave trade and happen to fit all the prophecies and descriptions of the biblical Israelites.” Joshua explained and continued.
“They go by many names since they have been scattered around the world such as Jamaicans, Trinidadians, West Indians, so-called African Americans, South American, Native Americans, Africans. They are everywhere.
Come with us, we’ll be free one day but for now, well stay free in the mind and free the minds of our people so when it is time, they are ready.” Joshua ended.