John Bernard Daley. The Man Who Liked Lions. (Infinity Science Fiction October 1956).

Read in The Year’s Greatest Science Fiction and Fantasy Second Annual Volume ed Judith Merril 1957.

Editor Merril notes in her editorial introduction that she wondered if this were a pseudonymous story as it did not read like a story from a novice writer. But it was indeed just a second published story, and, it transpired, just the second of three published by him.

It’s a baking hot day at a municipal zoo in an American city. Mr. Kemper is at the zoo, looking not only at the animals, but also the humans. He has known the denizens of Earth for millenia, and has hunted them, and is clearly coloured unimpressed by homo sapiens sitting at the top of the apex, for he sees their behaviours as animalistic as those of the beasts in the cages.

Mr. Kemper realises he is being hunted, as his fellow beings are onto him, and the story follows a cat and mouse day at the zoo, in which Kemper hopes he can manufacture an event at the lion house at 3pm that will aid his escape…

A nice enough story, with the drama in the last few pages, with neither homo sapiens or homo superior coming out well.

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