“Heart of a Lion” by Will Stolzenburg
The value of storytelling can never be underestimated. Stories are the purveyors of history, vehicles by which facts are disseminated, and the wings that let imagination soar.
Our earliest communication, whether as a culture or as individual human babies, comes through the magic of stories. We learn of feats and failures, adoration and abhorrence, winning and losing, right and wrong, hope and despair. Our minds attend the lessons of a well taught tale, and this tale has all these elements. “Heart of a Lion” is the compellingly told story of a young male mountain lion, that left South Dakota in search of his own territory, commonplace for dispersing adolescents. Yet, his story will inspire you and leave you in awe of the tenacity of the natural world because this lion traveled over 1500 miles, through some of the most developed areas of the north east in search of a home, food, and love . In the same way that sagas, both ancient and modern, plot out the lives of incredible humans, so “Heart of a Lion”, by author William Stolzenburg, skillfully plots out the life of an incredible animal. Marginally unchanged in biology, from when it shared the earth with nothing but wildlife, the mountain lion has traveled through the tunnel of time, and the dark days of persecution, to emerge, singularly whole, spectacularly unique, and determined to etch out a place, not only in the wildness of our landscapes, but also in our hearts. Will’s incredible storytelling will make you care deeply about a valiant lion, who like Odysseus, would find his home only through his wandering…
You can find “Heart of a Lion” on Will’s website. It is a story that had to be told and like all classics, one which we should retell over and over again.