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Hot breath from the lioness touched my cheek. Round dark irises in gold eyes, nostrils flaring and relaxing, a complex pattern faint on the black nose pad, the harsh breath of a meat eater. She stood as tall as I, reared up with her big front feet at my shoulder height. She was all about power: massive jaws, thick forelegs, heavy shoulder muscles. Power she'd never used, never run down and throttled her unwilling dinner, never torn it into fragments she could eat. The familiar fact that she was on one side of the wire and I was safe on the other seemed profoundly odd, a peculiar twist in the ancient relationship between our species....

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