From a Den of Lions – by Bobby Rollins (Adult)

When the sun rose the lions would return. Not just one of them either, but a whole pride, with their scoffing, bright yellow heads and manes raised defiantly above the manicured greens, mocking groundskeepers and club members alike, with the persistent reminder that even here, there were things they could not control.
“It’s like passing a field of floral vermin!” a member barked at the groundskeeper, “What’s next? Scotch Broom on the fairways?”
The groundskeeper was at his wits end. Nothing stopped the dandelions. Increased doses of pesticides brought only temporary relief, and having a crew comb the greens and fairways to manually remove the weeds delivered nothing more.
Thoughts and accusations of sabotage bubbled in whispers around the club. Perhaps a member in poor standing, some riff-raff with a guest pass, or a disgruntled employee was slyly scattering seeds in a rash of vengeance. Thus, much like the dandelions, surveillance, pesticide spraying, rumor mongering and slander all increased at the club as spring progressed, but each proved rather ineffective. When the sun rose the lions would return.
The joy of watching her offspring frolic in a field of dandelions brought back memories that had been hers all her life. She felt the same warmth watching them playing in the sea of rich gold flowers and delicate, round, white balls of seed that she had loved so much when she was their age.
But as the sun sank behind the horizon, play time ended and hunger took over. The pups had to learn to hunt. The mother coyote led the six of them through the field, ravine and on to the fairway, each one innocently leaving a trace of the lions they had played with behind them. Dandelion seeds dropped from their fur as they scampered across the course in search of voles or an easy meal. They loped silently in the darkness, unnoticed, content, at ease, and not caring in the slightest that when the sun rose the lions would return.

Learn more about the author:

Bobby Rollins

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Nutshell Narratives 2019-03
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