This one’s for my sister who detests leopard print because, you know, there is a certain type…nasal Joburg kugel, Blue Bulls supporter’s poppie, Sea Point nail technician…

You can picture her: she’s a certain age, trying for a younger age, hair tied back but with a bubble at the front, lipliner a few shades darker than her lipstick, leathery cleavage on display… AND ME! Guilty as charged. The leopard could be my cami, or my active wear, or maybe just the scrunchie, but it is there.

YOU see us in our leopard print and you think we wear the cat to claim it’s feline lines. YOU think we think it make us look luxurious and expensive, a stand in for the fur of royalty. YOU think we wear it because you think we want you to think that we are animals in bed. YOU think you can hear us going grrrrr and you can see our acrylic nails drawing blood on a lover’s back…

You. Are. Wrong! You’ve been duped. Leopards don’t wear their spots to stand out, to be seen…they wear them to blend in, to hide. Because that’s how we survive. That’s how the goddess survives.

And we’ve hidden and survived since the beginning of time, always in the margins of manuscripts, on someone’s arm in a photo, an extra in a crowd scene. Hiding in plain sight. But when the scope swings towards us, and before it can focus us in the crosshairs, we blend in and slink back and poof…gone!

And there in our safe space where no man will be, we romp with our mothers and sisters and daughters in our leopard spot PJs. But mostly we lie in delicious slumber. We open a giant eye every now and again and lift the corner of the karos so that someone can crawl in and we spoon as if it is Sunday afternoon.

I can be at once god and goddess. No man feels like a goddess, so goddess trumps god every time!

I AM #leeuveltiertert!

Engrave it on my tombstone! Let the graverobbers come! Because when they have unearthed me, they will find that I am gone!

You think you see me here in these words, that you’ve pinned me down…this page is but a veil, and I am hidden between the lines.