A man I knew only as Tiny, a lion and buffalo trainer, told me about a lion named Scrapper. It seems that at one point Tiny was in Bakersfield, with a carnival, doing an act that involved four lions. He had also a fifth, Scrapper, but he didn't know Scrapper very well, hadn't even had him out of his cage. The name, of course, suggested that this wasn't a lion who was going to make history by his gentle and forbearing nature.
Then one of Tiny's other four lions died unexpectedly. Tiny tried to get the carnival manager to accept a diminished version of the act, but the manager was stern: "You contracted for four lions, you give us four lions."
Tiny was, not to put too fine a point on it, scared of Scrapper. But animal trainers can't always indulge such luxuries as being afraid of lions. So he opened Scrapper's cage.
With the result that the lion was out and Tiny was instantly on the ground--on the sidewalk, in Bakersfield, in high summer--with the lion on top of him. And what Tiny said to me about this was, "So, he injured me, of course, pretty bad, too, but he didn't hurt me, if you see what I mean. That's how you find out if you've got a good lion." I didn't exactly see what he meant, but the remark was impressive.