petrusplancius (petrusplancius) wrote,

Wallace the Lion


This is attributed to a certain Alexander Rolfe. Another naive painting under the cut, containing a whole family of big pussy-cats.

W.H.Rogers, In the Lion's Den, c.1870. A scene from a travelling circus, showing a lion, tigress and their hybrid cubs (known by the rather inelegant name of 'ligers')' Here is an adult 'liger', which also looks quite friendly:


A more striking example here:

Not to be confused with a 'tigon' or 'tigron', which is a cross between a male tiger and a lioness. A couple of those can be seen here, along with a 'li-tigron' ("Le li-tigron est le croisement d'un lion mâle et d'un tigron femelle. Seule le tigron femelle est fertile." So now you know.):

The same poster has some good pictures of ligers:

"The possibilities seem to be quite varied indeed:
Père Mère = hybride obtenu
Lion Tigresse = Ligre
Tigre Lionne = Tigron
Lion Ligresse = Li-ligre
Lion Tigronne = Li-tigron
Tigre Ligresse = Ti-ligre
Tigre Tigronne = Ti-tigron"

Generally speaking,the more mixed-up they are,the less attractive they are.

More about Wallace:

Wallace was stuffed after his death and can still be seen in the town museum at Saffron Walden in Essex:


He was born in Edinburgh in 1812, as the first African lion to be born in captivity in Britain, and spent his life in a travelling menagerie. His existence was no happier than one might expect for the time; he was made to fight againtst groups of dogs, for instance, on at least one occasion.


More details and another picture of him here:

He was apparently the inspiration for the poem of Albert and the Lion:

As recited by Stanley Holloway:

There's a famous seaside town called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh air and fun,
And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert, their son.

A grand little lad was young Albert
All dressed in his best; quite a swell
With a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle
The finest that Woolworth's could sell.

They didn't think much to the Ocean
The waves, they were fiddlin' and small
There was no wrecks and nobody drownded
Fact, nothing to laugh at, at all.

So, seeking for further amusement
They paid and went to the zoo
Where they'd lions and tigers and camels
And old ale and sandwiches too.

There were one great big lion called Wallace
His nose were all covered with scars
He lay in a somnolent posture
With the side of his face on the bars.

Now Albert had heard about lions
How they was ferocious and wild
To see Wallace lying so peaceful
Well, it didn't seem right to the child.

So straight 'way the brave little feller
Not showing a morsel of fear
Took his stick with its 'orse's 'ead 'andle
And shoved it in Wallace's ear.

You could see the lion didn't like it
For giving a kind of a roll
He pulled Albert inside the cage with 'im
And swallowed the little lad 'ole

Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence
And didn't know what to do next
Said "Mother! Yon lions 'et Albert"
And Mother said "Well, I am vexed!"

Then Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Quite rightly, when all's said and done
Complained to the Animal Keeper
That the lion had eaten their son.

The keeper was quite nice about it
He said "What a nasty mishap
Are you sure it's your boy he's eaten?"
Pa said "Am I sure? There's his cap!"

The manager had to be sent for
He came and he said "What's to do?"
Pa said "Yon lion's 'et Albert
And 'im in his Sunday clothes, too."

Then Mother said, "Right's right, young feller
I think it's a shame and a sin
For a lion to go and eat Albert
And after we've paid to come in."

The manager wanted no trouble
He took out his purse right away
Saying "How much to settle the matter?"
And Pa said "What do you usually pay?"

But Mother had turned a bit awkward
When she thought where her Albert had gone
She said "No! someone's got to be summonsed"
So that was decided upon.

Then off they went to the Police Station
In front of the Magistrate chap
They told 'im what happened to Albert
And proved it by showing his cap.

The Magistrate gave his opinion
That no one was really to blame
And he said that he hoped the Ramsbottoms
Would have further sons to their name.

At that Mother got proper blazing
"And thank you, sir, kindly," said she
"What waste all our lives raising children
To feed ruddy lions? Not me!"

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