Words from the Wild: Agnus and Lily

In May 2018, our guest Jayantha traveled through Botswana with friends. The group enjoyed stays at Chobe Game Lodge and Savute Safari Lodge in the Chobe National Park, and Camp Xakanaxa in the Moremi Game Reserve. During their travels the group “experienced and saw everything they hoped for and more.” The trip sparked creativity amongst the travelers. After a game drive with Camp Xakanaxa, Jayantha crafted this poem inspired by encountering a lioness and her young cub.

Words by Jayantha Perera

“Agnus and Lily

At Camp Xakanaxa (Botswana), we met a healthy young lioness and her cub sunbathing on a patch of savannah grass. The cub was very cute, and had just finished suckling milk from her mother, and cuddling with her. Then they got up lazily and started to walk away from us. Suddenly, the cub stopped to pick up a blanket from the grass (A friend accidently dropped the blanket from our open safari vehicle). She performed a violent drama of killing it and dragging it a distance, while her mother ignored her. The cub was triumphant and happy, and sought its mother’s approval by dragging and dropping it at her feet. Some of the thoughts that might have gone through the cub’s mind at that moment are captured below. I call the mother, Agnus (lamb of God), and the cub, Lily (white flower) because of their purity, strength, love, and innocence.


This is our kingdom

You are my refuge.

Your love and patience

Keep me alive and happy.


You taught me hunting

Now my chance to show off!

I am glad you have approved

my first kill on the plains.


I am confused

Why it has no legs; and

Smells like an animal

Never met before.


It was an easy catch

It did not try to run

Could it be a bear

with lots of hair?


It had a thick skin

But no meat under the skin

Was it a baby bear?

Oh! I feel sad; I should have

played with it, without killing it.


We are on the move

Cannot take my dead bear.

Wish I kept it alive

and taught him a few tricks."


Jayantha Perera

Camp Xakanaxa

May 2018

Lioness Botswana

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