16 comments on “A taxi driver’s surprise. 1948.

  1. I’m sure like all good Taxi drivers he made sure the passengers could pay first. As for Ray, it looks like she was a big believer in the old maxim The Show Must Go On despite the cuts and scratches.

    • Even if she couldn’t pay, once the lion was in the taxi driver wouldn’t have much choice but to go would he! The lion was obviously restrained in its treatment of her, if it really wanted to hurt her I expect she would have needed an ambulance, not a taxi….

    • And in Melbourne the taxi drivers probably would be happier taking a scared lion instead of a drunken Saturday night reveler! 😀

  2. Seems this happened in my country of birth, South Africa (East London is a town in the Eastern Cape province). Interesting that it made an Aus paper. No wonder people think the lions walk wild in the main streets of African towns. 🙂

    Another classic story, though – I can just see the taxi driver’s face!

    • Thank you! Usually the location of these events are easy to discern but this one looked as though it happened in Cape Province as reported from East London, and that is just not right! It would normally just say London meaning it was reported from London. East London was not really a hotbed of in-depth reporting 🙂

      It certainly would have given the taxi driver a good story to tell wouldn’t it!

  3. Ah this one made me laugh out loud Metan! If I’d been that taxi driver I would have been incapable of either running or driving! Frozen in horror is what I would have been. What a simply brilliant article though. I don’t know what delights me more – the fact that ‘a’ lion tamer was good with lions or that a ‘female’ lion tamer was so good with lions. Either way this was a smile-making post.

    And now an aside. Candy doesn’t have your email [me either] so she asked me to let you know that her book has just been put up on Indies Unlimited. This is the link http://wp.me/p1WnN1-6lK

    I use ************.com as my ‘public’ email address so if you drop me a line we can exchange contact details just in case they’re needed in the future!

    • I wonder if the lion was used to cars or if being bundled into a taxi would have just made the panic even worse? I can just see the car doing the cartoon-style bulging and warping while a fight goes on inside then a battered taxi driver sliding out of the door while the girl drives away…

      • -blushes bright red- I think I must have watched a few too many cartoons as a kid because I can picture that scene to perfection! I’ve always loved those ‘elastic’ scenes!

  4. Having hailed a cab with an angry cat in a carrying case — angry because I’d hoodwinked the feline into the box — to go to the vet. I can attest to the dirty looks of a cab driver when the cat yowled. I can only imagine the driver looking at the lion in the back seat.

  5. Dear blogger (and one or two of your commenters as well), the Lion “tamer” (trainer, we prefer in my mob) was my mother. The town was East London, SOUTH AFRICA, the cab driver was not only paid fulsomely but was awarded a medal by the SA government, and the “scratches” involved hundreds of stitches and a smashed jaw wired back together.
    What I would like to know is, where did you find the original piece? I’m trying to research my mother’s rather colourul life at the moment.

    • Thank you so much for commenting!

      Wow! those ‘scratches’ sound pretty bad, I’m impressed that she made it to the performance that night, although I suppose that if the lions were only used to her the show wouldn’t go on unless she did.
      The cab driver was probably deserving of some sort of reward, I expect that he had never driven so carefully before! What a story he had to tell after that though, nobody would be able to outdo that one for the ‘worst passenger ever’ story.

      I found the article in the digital archives of the National Library of Australia (trove.nla.gov.au) that is where all the articles I blog about come from. They are digitizing Australian newspapers from 1803 on and are being added to every day. This wasn’t the only article I found about this incident but they were all quite similar. You have made me want to search for more about her now 🙂

      Good luck with your searching and please feel free to comment again if you find out more stuff about her, she sounds like quite a woman!

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