On Saturday at the brocante (flea market), I found an ancient copy of Joseph Kessel's Le Lion, a book that had enchanted me as a child; indeed, the novel tells the story of a little girl, Patricia, who lives in Kenya and has a special relationship with a wild lion. I too spent my childhood in Kenya and while I did not cuddle with wild beasts, safaris gave me plenty of opportunities to watch and adore animals. I had a soft spot for elephants - I almost bought the toy elephant, left, that I also found at the brocante.
The closest I came to genuine wild animals was when I rode... a rhinoceros! Grey rhinos are endangered, so they used to be followed around by armed guards and were thus comfortable with humans. It was a unique experience, and one that made me forever an advocate of animals. May we preserve them.