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September 23, 2010
I saw a panther--the true king of the jungle. Sleek and powerful, he had a nobility the lion would never be able to imitate. Yet he was a broken king, with a crippled foot and a shattered spirit.

Caught in a zoo--barely more room than a cage--he sprawled beneath his single tree, and when leaves dropped onto his head, he didn't bother to shake them off. His fur was coated with dust, and his teeth only showed when he yawned.

And he watched us humans file past with contempt.

"Once," He would say, "I was a king."