March comes in like a lion, they say, and so did he. It was a role he played. Each March he crawled and roared and came in like a lion.
The first March morn long ago, his wife was surprised. She had not expected a lion so early. What was this lion doing growling and crawling in the house so early?
He was no actor but he liked his small success, liked being a lion in March. Each March, for his audience of one, he repeated his performance. His wife was no longer exactly surprised, but seemed to enjoy the crawling and growling if it did not last too long.
He had this thing for lions. Perhaps Baltimore was a lion city. He liked the Bary lion in Mt. Vernon Square. He on occasion visited him.
And at home there was a plaster Bary lion that went way back, belonged to his parents.
And March was a fine month, he thought, the best month. Not only did the lion come in, but spring came too. The month that brought spring had to be the best.
He cared greatly for the lion but, truth to tell, the lion was but half of his repertoire. March, like all months, must end, must go out. And, everyone knows, March goes out like a lamb.
And so for so long at the end of March, he became a lamb.
His wife appreciated the lamb, though she was slightly critical. She rated the lamb below the lion. But he was not discouraged. Through many Marches, they celebrated with lion and lamb.
But that was long ago, that was the time of lion and lamb. But lion and lamb may go and so may his audience. And so she did.
March comes in, goes out, and no longer does he roar or bleat. He has an audience no longer.
But yet he has. In his inner eye he sees her still, and still he roars and bleats. The sound is no longer there and yet it is. He hears the sound within him still. March still comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. And between the lion and lamb, there is always spring.
Franklin Mason is a retired Evening Sun writer and novelist.