Africa: Come Play with Me


I continue to be engaged and curious about different species interactions with each other. This Jack Russell Terrier is Apple. Actually Apple 2; Apple 1 was lost to the resident crocodile.

Apple is the alpha dog at the Ukutula Lion Park. He marches around with little or no awareness of these very large carnivores that are cohabitating with him. I captured a moment where a younger cub obviously wants him to play. Notice although nudging, even poking with a paw, Apple is non-responsive. The cub leaves with obvious frustration at not engaging Apple to play, and returns quickly with reinforcements to push the invitation of playing with us! Then you see Apple’s response, “no!”

What I love about this last shot is not only is Apple setting a limit, but doing so with a loving glance. And I love how the cubs themselves go to a submissive place and comforting each other.

I wonder about when we ask for what we want, if to play, or just any basic need. How persistent we are with someone who might not be the person to provide that need? If we are told no, I notice there is often a judgment about the want or need. If they won’t do it somehow there is something wrong with what I have asked. Verses they are not the people to fill that want.

What I loved is that the cubs went on to play with each other, getting exactly what they wanted and Apple went off to exercise his guard duties. Everyone got what they wanted.