He was very tired these days. Even more so than normal, which was something considering he slept nearly fourteen hours a day when he was a spry, young thing.
When he came here no one cared that he’d been in the movies or that he’d come from across the ocean or that Volney wasn’t even his real name. His new neighbors just looked him over, turned their noses up, and went about their business.
Ingrates, he’d thought at first. They should appreciate being in the presence of a star like him. But, when the meals brought to him were the same as everyone else’s and he was given exercise hours just like everyone else, he realized that he was the same as the rest of them.
And for a while, that Volney made very sad. Not a deep sadness, but an accepting kind of sadness. The sort you get when things have changed forever and won’t go back.
He still had his roar, though. The resonant, primal, echoing shout that had made him famous.
As he headr the gate clank open for their morning feeding, Volney decided that he should remind everyone why lions are the king of all beasts.
The lion you see at the beginning of classic MGM movies is the Volney of this story. He was born in the Dublin Zoo and originally named Slats. He was brought to MGM by his trainer Volney Phifer, his future namesake. After retiring from the movie business, Volney was sold to the Memphis Zoo, where he spent the rest of the day in the zoo’s cat house, his roar echoing through the building and cinematic history.