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TitleZamba- The True Story of the Greatest Lion That Ever Lived
File Size1.3 MB
Total Pages273
Table of Contents
                            Cover Image
Title Page
Dedication Page
	Chapter One
	Chapter Two
	Chapter Three
	Chapter Four
	Chapter Five
	Chapter Six
	Chapter Seven
	Chapter Eight
	Chapter Nine
	Chapter Ten
	Chapter Eleven
	Chapter Twelve
	Chapter Thirteen
	Chapter Fourteen
	Chapter Fifteen
	Chapter Sixteen
	Chapter Seventeen
	Chapter Eighteen
	Chapter Nineteen
	Chapter Twenty
	Chapter Twenty-One
	Chapter Twenty-Two
	Chapter Twenty-Three
	Chapter Twenty-Four
	Chapter Twenty-Five
	Chapter Twenty-Six
	Chapter Twenty-Seven
	Chapter Twenty-Eight
	Chapter Twenty-Nine
	Tribute to Zamba
	About the Author
	Also by Ralph Helfer
	Copyright Notice
	About the Publisher
Document Text Contents
Page 2

The True Story of
the Greatest Lion
That Ever Lived


Page 136

128 Ralph Helfer

to imagine getting a job that my main competitor, Jungleland,

couldn’t do.

Monday morning found me loading a scrubbed and immacu-

lately brushed Zamba into my station wagon. I’ll tell you—when

you travel with a lion, doors open to you! When I pulled up to

the studio gate, the guard took one look at Zamba and didn’t

even ask for my name, he just let us in. I unloaded Zam in the

parking lot, clipped a leash on him, and headed for our destina-

tion, where a very nervous secretary pointed the way to the pro-

ducer’s office.

I pushed the button for the elevator. When the doors opened,

the people on the elevator took one look at Zamba and fell over

themselves trying to move as far back into the car as they could. I

had to back Zamba halfway across the lobby before they would

leave the elevator, and we had to race through the doors before

they closed.

On our floor, a security guard stayed at a distance, but pointed

out the door to the producer’s office. He was kind enough to open

it for us—although he held the handle with his fingertips and

moved away fast.

We entered a huge office done in dark mahogany furniture

against a thick, dark brown rug. At the end of the room was a large,

fancy glass desk framed in ebony wood. It was a dark and depress-

ing office, except for a large glass window with a view over the stu-

dio lot.

The glare coming in from the outside made seeing the man be-

hind the desk almost impossible. The only thing you could see was

the silhouette of another man smoking a cigar in front of the win-

dow. I had read that many executives put their desks in front of a

window, so they see their visitors’ faces without being seen them-

selves. They believe it gives them an advantage.

Page 137


“Well, well, so this is the famous lion that will work with chil-

dren,” said the shadow at the desk.

“Yes, sir, this is Zamba.”

There was no handshake. I figured he was afraid of the lion

coming too close to him.

“He won’t pee on my carpet, will he, young man?”

“No, sir.”

“What makes you so sure he won’t eat the kid?”

“He’s experienced with children, sir.”

He was quiet for some time. Then, “Okay, tomorrow you’ll meet

the kid and see if she and the lion get along. If he can do the job,

fine. If not, we don’t need either one of you.”

Then he waved his hand at me, as if he were dismissing a ser-

vant. I left the office feeling put down. This person knew nothing

about us, and he’d treated us as if we were less than he was. I found

out later that the man I was talking to was not the producer, but a

production head with a lot of power, and no one spoke well of

him. I was too young myself to recognize his strategy: what he was

really saying was “We don’t need you, so you’d better lower your

price or there won’t be a job at all.” I knew they had no lion, but I

also knew that they were threatening to use a mechanical one.

I received a call the next day that a meeting had been arranged,

and I should take Zamba to meet Pamela Franklin, the little girl ac-


We met Pam and her mother on the back lot of the studio. An-

other production head was also there. He was very polite, and there

were introductions all around.

Pam was a delight: a vibrant and bright little lady who cap-

tured Zamba’s and my heart immediately. The two of them got

along famously. Obviously, I was very careful to make sure that

nothing happened that might scare Pam. Sometimes Zamba’s

Page 272


Designed by Jaime Putorti

Page 273


Photographic insert excluded from electronic edition.

ZAMBA. Copyright © 2005 by Ralph Helfer. All rights reserved under
International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the

required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable

right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text

may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse

engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and

retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or

mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written

permission of HarperCollins e-books.

Adobe Acrobat e-Book Reader January 2008

ISBN 978-0-06-162794-1

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