The lion, the sheep and a story


In a recent (s7e5) episode of Game of Thrones, Cersei said, The lion does not concern itself with the opinions of the sheep.

Now, why did that sound so familiar? It’s not because I clearly recall Tywin saying it way back (in s1e7). And it would be appropriate for the Lannisters to say this give their sigil includes a lion and their general superiority complex. No. I wondered I remembered it from someone casually quoting it to me recently as a way to describe himself, in the context of ignoring haters and naysayers.

During that conversation, to draw more comparison with lions, he told me to look up pride dynamics and I was slightly horrified. Sure, lions look majestic and are admirably “king of the jungle” but did you know in accomplishing the latter, the life they go through?!

Only about 1 in 8 male lions make it to adulthood. Besides the expected injuries and lack of food, they are kicked out of the pride – which is led by a couple of adult males and have a high female-male ratio – at age 2 to fend for themselves. They wander in packs with other young lions in no-cat’s-land and if they venture into another’s territory, they could be attacked. When physically ready, they need to take over a pride. In this fight, a lion wins or dies. If there is a new winner, he will kill the cubs in the pride and that makes sense because they are not their progeny and considered a waste of resources/energy. Females in the pride still nursing wouldn’t be receptive to mating if the cub is still around. “They can’t be stepfathers,” is a resonating quote from the article.

Besides wondering to what extent my friend considers himself a lion, it made me rethink the oft comparison of people’s personality to lion.

Since *I don’t follow astrology*, I’m not knowledgeable of the ascribed attributes of Leo and I wasn’t going to look it up lest I unconsciously adopt the beliefs. But the admirable lion attributes are bravery and strength and protectiveness, right?

You see, little E was born in the Leo interval. I thought it was neat because kids love lions and I could resort to lions for decor or buying clothes or other decision making because “it has more meaning” even if I’m not going to voluntarily educate him on zodiac (voodoo). He could easily have been a crab (Cancer sign) if he had been born even earlier than he was at 39 weeks.

If E has the good attributes we think lions have, that’s good. I have to refrain from wanting to refer to him as “my little lion” or some such sap.

And the “odd” thing I realized recently is that his Chinese zodiac, which comes up more often, is a sheep. While lions and sheep wouldn’t be found in the same place in the wild, you just know a sheep would be a meal for a lion!

I also try not to put too much faith in Chinese zodiac predictions but felt obliged to do some reading due to the Male-Female Sheep Kerfuffle of 2014. I promptly forgot the details of what I read but vaguely recall that Year of the Sheep people are kind and gentle or something, as you’d expect. They may be prone to be (over) sensitive. Not a bad sign in the least. (Gosh, if I had a Year of the Snake child…!)

Coming back to the Lannister quote above. The common first interpretation is that a lion doesn’t have to deal with the criticism from sheep. But it definitely leaves room for an alternate, less negative meaning, where a lion doesn’t need approval from sheep. In either case, one should not be bogged down and paralyzed by the opinions of others.

Little E is going to know his two zodiac signs and he’ll internalize them to some extent, find a balance. I’m overthinking it! :-)


On this day..