The secret

On February 2, apart from cutting electricity and water supply from roughly 75% of households nationwide, causing most of the schools to shut down, turning the country into a post-apocalyptic scary place, making woods into killers, and killing so many trees and some people who fell on ice or used the aggregates wrongly, the sleet and snow in Slovenia destroyed the fence of that part of the ZOO in my ex city where the lynxes and wolves and mountain goats lived.

The ZOO keepers said: “Oh, nobody will escape, we FEED them, you see, they prefer to stick with us.” Still – the wolves, they put them to sleep and transfer, but not the lynxes. They are not a danger to humans, they said. Father informed me of all this via mail. I wrote him back saying that I was very sad for the suffering of the people, as for the lynxes though I was sure they would be all right.

In that night, the two lynxes, a couple, killed a ZOO mountain goat and disappeared. The keepers said they were still within the ZOO, rather than in the wild, and in two days a title on a news site read: “Tonight, the decision – which animal will be killed next?” Somebody must have told the journalists that the lynxes kill every second night. The article expressed most fear for the power panda couple who look like they might become parents soon.

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Dragon tree near the ZOO. Photo: MM

(Some say, NATO did it with their planes, the weather. Some say it’s all fabricated because the lynx was the mascot of our Olympic ice-hockey team who in the group with the USA, Russia and Slovakia could only hope that their opponents get brainwashed and forget how to skate, but lo, they went and beat Slovakia, eliminated poveri Austrians in the next round and were only destroyed by cocky Swedes. Some say it was to take our minds away from the Olympics because our athletes were going to suck so much – but lo, they went and won 8 medals, ranking 12th among the countries on the medal table!)

The keepers set live traps (the non-hurting kind) around the goats should the couple return. Sure enough, the male lynx was caught. But she was nowhere to be found.

A variety and quantity of false alarms was tremendous. Every bigger cat turned out to be a lynx. Media issued paw prints, comparing those of the dog, the lynx and the cat. An account was made to her name on twitter. And then finally, a walker took a photo of her chilling in a tree, outside of the ZOO, next to a path where I used to walk my first dog, in all weather, even doing some Marine-like exercises when in the mood. The area is serene, a little hill above the city, wooded, quite large, but not for a lynx.

The trap was waiting for her in the ZOO, should she return for more capricorns, or for her mate. And then, lo, a goat got trapped in it instead of the sly lynx.

As for her, she was still out there… Father told me the territory of lynxes is vast, huge, up to 1000 km.

The country would soon prove too small for her should she start to wander, I thought. So she could easily cross the border and come to me, to Toscana. No border patrol any more.

As it is, the story has a bad, sad and mad ending.

She didn’t get far. They got her with a supposedly safe, sleeping rifle, right there in the city woods. The bullet hit her thigh bone, most unfortunately, and the bone broke. She needed a surgery. And from it she never woke up.

She knew what freedom was though. She was tasting it, for a whole month. Her secret. And she didn’t tell.

≈ Manja Maksimovič ≈


    1. me too, i had a bad feeling from the start, i better not tell you what happened to a bear the nation was following around in a similar way a while ago… not the place for wild creatures, this

      that’s why i was probably hoping she would come to me


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