Coat of Red, Coat of Gold

Welcome back to part two of this highly unusual and deeply untruthful three-part series here at Factually Deficient! If you missed Part One, or read it but just kind of miss it and want to read it again, you can find it right here. And once again, I encourage you all to try to guess in the comments what the unifying theme of this series is, even though, really, it’s not like I’m even trying to hide it.

Either way, for Part Two, I will address this question from the formidable Tohrinha:

In a coat of gold or a coat of red, does a lion still have claws?

As discussed in Part One of this series, lions’ coats are not naturally theirs, but rather sewn together from the skins of their enemies. However, on one point last week I may have been misleading, and for that I apologize deeply: I claimed last week that the pelts the lions gather are dyed to “uniform” colour. While this is true in all individual cases– each lion coat is all one shade, not mottled– in the bigger picture, it is less accurate.

Initially, it was true, that all the lions wore their coats in the same shade of gold, shining as the defenders of the Plant King’s throne. However, on the tragic day of the upheaval in the Plant Kingdom, whereon the Plant King lost his life and his throne, the first red lion coat was seen. You must be asking yourselves, dear readers, how the Plant King could have died when he had such fierce, such loyal guards as the lions.

You ask yourself well, and of course the answer is that the traitors could not have done any such thing while the Plant King’s lion guards yet lived. But they were cut down, their blood staining their golden cloaks, their bodies growing cold as the regicide was committed.

When the remaining lions saw this, they were divided into two camps. The first group insisted on maintaining their pure golden colours, on– much like the spruces who developed in the same time– being shining examples of what the world once was, and what it should be again. But the second group, at the same time incensed and inspired by the sight of their blood-soaked fallen comrades, made a different sort of vow. They determined that they should use their prey’s blood– hitherto gone to waste, because they could not find a use for it– as dye, to wear their coats as red as those of the dead, that this would be a symbol both of their mourning for what was lost (much like the pines), and (in a different turn) of their hunt for vengeance, for a chance to set things right.

But what of the claws? Like fur itself, lions in their natural state have no claws; they defeat their enemies entirely with the strength of their limbs, the force of their jaws, and the sharpness of their teeth. However, like the fur, lions are loath to let a part of their prey go to waste, as we have seen, and so they traditionally attach the claws of their fallen foes to the costumes they wear, affixed on the ends of their paws. Thus, the answer to your question is quite a definite yes and no: whether your definition of having claws means that lions have them or not, this status is the same regardless of the colour of their coats.


Disclaimer: There is reason to believe that this post is no more truthful than the last one, and I can offer little hope that the following part of this series will bring any more honesty.


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