Book Review

Little Tyke: The True Story of a Gentle Vegetarian Lioness by Georges H. Westbeau. Quest Books, Wheaton IL,1995. 150 pages, ISBN: 0835606058.

An endearing tale of a lion cub that was saved by the zoo keepers from a mother that was known to kill her newborn offspring. Dubbed Little Tyke, she was presented to the author.  Even when young, Little Tyke was not interested in eating meat and would refuse drinking milk if even one drop of blood had been added to it. This behavior stayed with her right to the end of her life, when she was nine years old.   Her story has touched the heart of many who knew her.

Westbeau gained much wisdom from this docile animal about issues relating to trust, honesty, gentleness, ahimsa (non-violence), and unconditional love – and the oft-times hidden bond that can exist between people and animals.   Little Tyke extended these qualities to all the animals that lived with her at Hidden Valley Ranch.  There is a photo of Little Tyke and a lamb called Becky, each being fed milk from a bottle.  I could not help making the comparison with the biblical vision of a New Earth as seen by the Prophet and recorded in Isaiah 11:6-9.

Re-reading this book, I experienced once again the joy of entering into Little Tyke’s world.  It is my belief that this book will become a classic, akin to Black Beauty and Greyfriar’s Bobby. Heathclyff St. James Deville (from Theosophy Downunder Summer 2009)

Book Reviews