The lion overlooking the city remembers when the the streets were filled with trams, teetering and elephantine, and the water beyond loaded with ships as round and fat as hippos. Now, there is just the bendy bus – slow worms, lacking the art and articulation of the snake – and the shiny black tops of taxis, as swift and sly as beetles. This is a world of tiny, insignificant insects, and the lion longs for the looming eloquence of those other animals, now dust; now, rust.
The death of the doubledeckers, to the lion, was a tragedy not to be borne. The lion, while never born itself, feels this; its heart – seemingly stone, simply not there, in literal terms – yearns. It is the king, now, of nothing. The world down there grows faster, smaller, whizzes into a blur. The fury of this fur-less beast has passed, at last, into sadness. Queen Street is so less queenly than it was, and this king forgotten. Its friends, far away on the wall of Cardiff Castle, at least have each other. The lion has no-one. The lion – it admits to itself – is lonely. Lonely lion. Long-lost king. Does no-one ever look up any more?