Thursday, 12 April 2012

A - Z Challenge: L is for Leopard and also for Charles Lewis Dodgson

is for


        PART I:

        WHAT IS IT?

The leopard is the smallest of the four big cats in the genus Panthera with the other three being tigers, lions and jaguars.  This is an important piece of information since it means that when these four get together the leopard is always going to be the little brother.

Take a moment and think back to when you were young [1].  Remember the brother that always tried to hang out with you and your friends? 
That one everyone picked on just 'cos?  Well leopards are the cat equivalent of this.

Unsuprisingly then it is a solitary hunter [2] with an unequaled ability to climb trees even when carrying a heavy carcass, a stealth factor that has been ramped up to "furry ninja" levels and enough of an appitite to eat anything it catches.


Your igloo will be of no use as you prepare for a trip to the steamiest jungles in the world.  You'll be searching the Indian subcontinent, China, Indochina, Malaysia and Indonesia for one of these beasts and you'll need to look hard and make contact with all manner of unsavoury characters

Then, when the leopard is finally spotted you'll need to do your best to appear as unsavoury as possible.

Of course you could always pay your local zoo a visit in the middle of the night.  Given the leopards stealthy nature nobody would say anything if it "just happened" to vanish one night. [3]

Obviously the easiest thing to do would be to keep a leopard as your pet and claim it as a rather large house cat.  Training it to attack on command would be helpful in all manner of situations [4]  
Alternatively you could wear the leopard as a rather large fur stole and then deliberately hang out around PETA protests.  But that would be mean.

Owning a leopard, or any exotic animal, marks you for life as someone worthy of note.  You only have to have the beast in your home for a short time before people are knocking on your door begging for your story.

Also, Lord Byron owned a bear when he was at school [5]. Haven't we, as a society, moved on?  Don't your children deserve better?


That the rich and powerful keep dangerous pets is a theme that crops up across time and writings.  It is almost impossible to write about a ruler and NOT devote a paragraph about his incredibly deadly beasts that will certainly menace but, and this is important, not actually eat the hero.

On the other side of the fence the leopard might be the personal pet [6] of your characters.  Where, despite being obviously wild beasts, they will not suddenly freak out at being in the middle of a city and surrounded by all the pink squashy food. [7]


        PART II


is also for


Now I know that you're thinking "Who?" and "Why didn't he choose an easier author such as Lovecraft, who provided the world such delicious fare as nightmares are made of, or CS Lewis, who let us journey to Narnia[8]"
But no.  An honourable mention is the most that those two can hope for this time around because I must pay tribute to Charles Lewis Dodgson or, as he is more popularly known, Lewis Carroll.

He penned Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking glass which are frequently mixed up together, [9] and still has a large following of people trying to find meaning in his poems of nonsense or attempting to uncurl the madness of the hatter.

I would recommend his books to the parents of the young as bedtime stories. 

As a postscript I would add that, had Jabberwocky not being a favourite poem of mine as a child and even today.  Then it is likely that this blog would be very much changed and would be focused on the latest Xbox game to come out and why Playstation totally sucks.

Thanks Lewis!
  1. If you're already young then imagine that an older version of you is imagining themselves to be young.  Continue this until your brain melts out of your ears.
  2. Mainly because because the others won't let it hunt with them.
  3. Especially not when they discover the lockpicks that the "leopard" has left behind.
  4. Don't worry about the local bylaws although if you've got a trained attack leopard you probably weren't anyway
  5. This was because they had sent his dog home.  He looked over the rules and found that there was nothing that didn't say he couldn't have a pet bear.  This is 100% true.
  6. and thus the cute furry thing so beloved of marketers
  7. Unless they are baddies and therefore narratively acceptable.
  8. but was still humble enough to give the credit to Aslan.  Were he still alive he'd be a very soft touch for a loan.
  9. Although given how much of his work was mixed up I don't think he'd mind.

The Lively Learned Lobster,
who mended his own Clothes with
a Needle and a Thread.

PS: This is actually my hundredth actual posting. Actual pavlovas for everyone!  Woo!
PSPS: Actually today's the day I actually get my actual tattoo! 
Woo Woo!


  1. i love the link to leopards and ludicrous wealth!

  2. Like leopards, lucre is often found in the most unexpected of locations (and since this is starting to feel like Sesame Street I'll stop it there)

  3. Leopards are cool. Lewis Carroll is the ultimate in coolness. I bet he was really awesome, what a mind!

    What tattooo did you get?!?!

  4. It's a shoulder piece that will ultimately cover up the mess that was there before (small dragon and larger outline of design that never got completed)

    It's the big circle in Table 2 of this post.

  5. Awesome, it is a very cool design. XD