In elementary school, the proverb March comes in like a lion and out like lamb is a major part of curriculum. The books we studied featured lion-shaped clouds roaring like the beginning of an MGM movie. Then, in a thrilling plot twist, friendly, woolly clouds soon pranced across skies. Tangerine-orange paper plates with feline faces and cotton-ball sheep almost rival the sudden sprouting of shamrocks on the classroom walls.
When I was still living in Columbus, I remember my class sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce under a calendar filled with paper heads of lions and lambs. Each day, one lucky student was chosen to step outside (with all eyes on him or her!) and determine whether the day was a lamb, or a wild cat associated with savanna climates. To my disappointment the teacher was the one who taped the lion/sheep head on the calendar. On the day it was finally my turn, I rose from my spot on the carpet with great purpose and allowed myself to be escorted out of the room; down the hallway, not too far, was a heavier door, gray. The teacher pushed it open for me, and I stood about a foot out of the doorway. I lifted my round five-year-old face to the cold wind and squinted with intense, sagely thought. When the teacher showed impatience, I returned to the class and announced that that day was both a lion and lamb day.
“What an out-of-the-box thinker!” the reader coos. The reality was, lion-and-lamb was the choice of almost every student. When this happened, half of the lion’s face was taped against the lamb’s face. I feel like there was a part of me that felt somewhat disturbed by this hybrid. On the other hand, I don’t think I can give myself enough credit to say that I consciously questioned the fact that a lion was alongside an easy meal.