Lion and Gazelle

by a contributor

by Mira Mattar

Perhaps it was sentimental – I can’t be sure. In any case, she was on the sofa and her eyes were welling up. Again. This girl could cry. I mean really cry. This time she was recounting the tale of a lion and a gazelle she once saw on a wildlife documentary. By some miracle of nature they had formed an alliance, a friendship – she went as far as to call it love. Anyway, this unlikely friendship continued despite biology, despite the differences between the violent beast and the delicate fawn, despite the camera crew looking on with disbelieving eyes, thinking both of the extreme profundity of what was before them and the immense ratings they would receive once this went on TV. But, and here’s where her eyes almost spilled over, eventually, she said, nature took its course. A single tear drop rolled down her cheek and the lion devoured the gazelle. She wiped the tear away and told me how much she had cried when she saw it on TV and how much she was holding back now, in this simple retelling. Part of me wanted to laugh at her. She wanted so much for the gazelle to survive, for the lion to transcend its nature, for love to preside over violence in some tiny way.


Mira Mattar is a writer, contributing editor at Mute and 3:AM, and one third of Monster Emporium Press. Her work has appeared in The Literateur, MetazenTwo Serious Ladies and other places. She blogs at Follow her at @miramattar.

See Mira’s 5 Things You Should Read in our ongoing contributors’ series.