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Date: Fri, 28 Apr 1995 15:53:43 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: Ben Silcock (part two)
Commenting about the song "Ben", Pat said it was written "after hearing some
extraordinary remarks from ordinarily decent people concerning a character in
a news story who seemed to me-in quite back and white terms-the victem. Full
of good intentions and bruised sensitivities I tried to write a tune about it."
(source: JBC Web site).
In researching Ben Silcock, I hoped to find the source of Pat's
"bruised sensitivities". Aside from the police quote mentioned earlier, this
is the closest I got (the following article appeared in The (London?) Times on
January 2, 1993, two days following the incident):
ARFUR THE `CUDDLY' LION DRAWS CROWDS
By Ray Clancy
ARFUR, the Asiatic lion, became a macabre celebrity yesterday as crowds
gathered to catch a glimpse of him at London Zoo.
He prowled around to the apparent delight of the public, many of whom
visited specially to see the lion that mauled Ben Silcock when he leapt into
the compound and tried to feed chickens to the big cats on Thursday.
"Is that the one, is that him, Daddy?" shouted one excited little boy as he
pointed towards Arfur padding around the compound. The lion, oblivious to the
extra attention, casually cuffed a lioness around the head as if to remind her
that he was the boss.
One family brought their video camera. "Isn't he cuddly? It wasn't his
fault," said Elizabeth Jones, of Hatfield, Hertfordshire. "I brought the video
camera. He looks too lazy today to bother anyone."
A family from Romford, Essex, said they were glad that no harm had come to
Arfur. "It would have been dreadful if they had put him down. The keepers
were really brave to go in and rescue him," said Tracy Williams, who took her
sons Jason, 10, and Clive, 12, to see the lion.
Arfur decided that he had had enough adulation just after lunchtime. He
turned his back on his public, lay down in the dying winter sunshine, yawned
and went to sleep.
On a side note, Arfur was later put to sleep after mauling a zoo
I saw the whole thing on T.V.
He looked truly beautiful.
You, I couldn't see."
"Ben", Jazz Butcher Conspiracy.