Early this morning I had one of those nightmares that are so bad they wake you up. I was being led by an athletic, fair-haired, hiking-boot-wearing young guy around a Pandora-like jungle. At one point we started climbing up the big super-tree (i.e., the one that comes crashing down 9/11-style in Avatar) and realized very quickly that African lions were climbing all over. They were swatting at me and biting my hand like my cats do, but they were big and snarly and smelly and dangerous.

We were maybe halfway up the tree — hundreds of feet off the ground — and it was lions, lions, lions. Roaring and scratching and scampering up the trunk with their damn tails. I was getting bloody gashes and fang-tooth and nip marks on my legs, ribs, arms. It was obvious we’d be killed and eaten sooner or later.

The guide motioned me to walk out on a couple of very thin branches with an overhanging thin branch that we could hold for stability. The branches bent and buckled and wobbled with our weight but they didn’t snap . Two lions followed us out and lost their balance and fell. The last image in the nightmare was of the two lions falling and falling and falling, crashing into branches on their way down, and watching their insides rupture and splatter when they hit the rocks below.