Viaggiatore turned and looked at me with those bottomless eyes. "It is warm, but it's not hot."
"You're in a fur coat and you don't think this is hot?" I gave him the 'single-raised eyebrow' of doubt.
"When I escaped from the evil chief of the Kilmuseri tribe at Mt. Elgon on the Kenyan and Ugandan borders, I headed north into the Sahara desert. It was 125 degrees. That was hot."
Both eyebrows shot up that time. "Wow... that is hot. How long were you in the desert?"
He swung his tail and shook his mane out and the scent of it's blossoms filled the air around us. "It took several weeks getting through that desert. It's about three thousand miles from Lake Victoria to Tunis, Tunisia. I ran as much as I could at night, I stopped at each little oasis that I could find. I met some friends along the way that were good to me, but it was a difficult journey. The good thoughts and deeds that followed in my wake were like rain in the desert to the people that I touched; it strengthens me when the idea of helping others is manifested in the lives of those that I meet."
I watched him quietly. I didn't want him to stop speaking.
"By the time I got to the Mediterranean Sea, I was feeling much better. I rested for a few days in Tunis, and then swam to Marseille, France. I stopped at a few random islands on the way but swimming in the sea was easier and faster than getting through the Sahara."
"You swam across the Mediterranean?" I was surprised to hear this latest twist in his tale.
"I am not a typical lion." he winked at me and smiled.
Viaggiatore stretched his legs out a little and wiggled his toes. "When I got to Marseille it was only a short distance to Lyon, France. I wanted to get to Shameless' place so that I could get into the writing circle. I have had such an incredible life, and it's only getting more interesting; the writing circle is just the place for me to share that, and it's good to have writing partners."
"We are a great team, you and I, and we are lucky to be in The Shameless Lions Writing Circle with so many other talented and wonderful writers. This part of our journey will be something wonderful."