Aninal Arena Final Battle

Harambe Vs. Cecil the Lion Arena: Jungle Gym in Heaven

By David Rappe, Grover's Corner Editor

Golden light filters in through the thin plastic tunnels. Rope ladders sit in serene silence, untouched and perfectly made. A chorus of angels sings in the background, their voices a thing of untold beauty. All around, a layer of pristine, fluffy clouds pads the floor.

A snarl of sheer ferocity breaks the tranquil atmosphere.

Cecil the Lion bounds down the padded walkway in the center of the jungle gym, tossing his luxurious mane. Opposite him, beneath a wooden catwalk, sits Harambe the gorilla, a picture of solemn composure. However, unbeknownst to his kingly opponent, within the peaceful Harambe sits a brutish ferocity.

Cecil leaps towards Harambe, claws unsheathed and fangs bared. Harambe rolls beneath the soaring lion, narrowly avoiding his opponent’s vicious teeth. The lion’s claws rake Harambe’s back as he throws him forcefully off. Cecil skids to a halt just before becoming tangled in a tall rope ladder. Cecil’s predatory instincts are on edge now. He knows this won’t be an easy victory.

Harambe stands tall, beating his massive chest. He gives a half-hearted hoot and prepares to defend himself again. He winces in pain as a heavenly wind brushes across the wounds in his back. He is a pacifist by nature. He does not want to fight this fight.

Cecil knows it’s do or die. His instincts are in full swing now. He knows he has to use the terrain to his advantage. He bounds up the rope ladder beside him and onto the narrow catwalk above. Up here, he can use his cat-like reflexes to catch his opponent off balance.

Harambe’s great brow furrows. His wisdom is beyond that of his proud foe. He knows what the lion is doing, but cannot avoid the fight any longer. He swings up the catwalk, balancing his massive weight precariously on the narrow timber.

Cecil grins. He thinks he has outsmarted the primate. He once more rushes head on at the ape. He lunges forward, digging his long claws into the gorilla’s barrel-like chest. Harambe gives a howl of pain as he pounds the lion’s back with his meaty hands. The two stay locked in a grapple, neither able to gain an advantage. Cecil can feel his body buckling under Harambe’s furious assault, just as Harambe can feel his strength waning beneath the lion’s claws.

Cecil bites at his opponent’s throat, but Harambe head butts him before the teeth connect. Cecil reels back, unlatching his claws from Harambe’s girth, shoving the gorilla back as he does so. He stumbles backwards, only just able to stay on the narrow catwalk.

Harambe is not so lucky. His top-heavy body topples off the edge of the walk, forced off by Cecil’s cruel push. He collapses in a pile of muscle and hair at the bottom of the gym.

But fighting in heaven has its advantages. The fluffy clouds that comprise the floor pad his fall.
Cecil looks down upon his fallen enemy triumphantly. He thinks the peaceful ape has been defeated.

Harambe stands.

Cecil is agape. How can this be? That was his best trick! How much damage will he have to inflict before this gorilla’s fortitude fails?

Harambe slowly looks up at his feline foe. Long gone is the friendly look of intelligence that so often graces his face. It is replaced by a primal rage. His heavy brow hangs low, and his mouth hangs slightly open, his vicious fangs protruding menacingly. He stands to his full height, now almost level with the catwalk. His shadow looms over the jungle gym as he roars in fury, his small eyes ablaze. This is the might of Harambe.

Cecil realizes he is outmatched. Any other lion might have fled by now, but Cecil is the king of the lions. He is emperor of the Savanna. He is the lord of the cats. He prepares for his last stand.

Harambe leaps up to the catwalk in a single bound, his mighty bellow echoing off the high rafters of the gym. His great voice drowns out the singing of the angels. He swings his powerful fists violently at Cecil, who must use all of his agility to avoid the attacks. Cecil leaps from the catwalk, landing lithely on a plastic tunnel. Harambe, lost in his rage, falls for the lion’s final trick. He jumps after cecil, but his weight and strength destroy the plastic tunnel. He falls. Cecil roars in triumph, but his celebration is cut short. He is falling too!

Both competitors fall into a heap at the foot of the gym. Battered and broken, these warriors know the battle is over. Harambe is the first to stand. His invincible form casts a foreboding shadow over Cecil. The massive primate grabs Cecil by his mane, dragging his broken body through a dingy moat to the side of the gym. Then the anger melts off his face. The peaceful look returns. He smiles, helping the lion to his feet. Cecil eyes Harambe with respect, bowing his head to the true lord of the jungle gym. He knows he has been defeated, and although his pride is stung, he is grateful that Harambe has spared his life. But he has learned something today.

Don’t. Mess. With. Harambe.