King of Beasts

One Sunday morning, Joe and I were headed to the PNE fairgrounds to pick some blackberries. As we were walking along Hastings, we passed the Learnary and saw their stack of puzzles in the window for the puzzle exchange program.

I spotted the telltale hexagonal box….. VINTAGE SPRINGBOK! We picked our berries, (which made really good jam, btw) and headed home. I immediately grabbed a couple puzzles and headed back.

The box is a bit worse for wear and someone taped the sides with packing tape, (I hate when people do that!) But the puzzle was in perfect shape. The pieces are smooth and glossy, they fit together perfectly and not too snug like some springboks have in the past. It really was puzzle perfection.

I remember, back when I lived in Berlin, I went to the zoo with my friend. We came to the indoor lion pens (I think they were maybe cleaning outside?) and there were two female lions on either side of the one male in three separate pens. The male lion was sitting proud and calm and the females were pacing back and forth looking a bit agitated, maybe they could smell the male? We eventually moved on to the nocturnal animal exhibit, which was the next room over, and dark so we could see the animals in action with a very dim bulb.

We were watching the bats flutter around in that dark room when a huge lion roar echoed through the whole building and rattled all the glass! It was so powerful that we had to come out and see. He roared and the two females had stopped pacing, everyone was completely still. Did he know they were pacing around? Did he roar just because? I had so many questions!

This puzzle dates back to 1974, is 500 pieces and is complete. It was a pretty good challenge too, I worked on it over a few puzzling sessions. Not bad for a puzzle exchange!