It is my fifth day inside a lion suit. Last Tuesday, Donald Trump ordered two of his bodyguards to hold me down while his Columbian maid sewed me into the costume. Later that afternoon I was presented as a gift to Trump's nine year old son, Barron, who rides me around the house and occasionally hunts me with nerf guns.
At breakfast I ask Donald how long I must stay inside the costume.
“How long do lions live?”
I don't know.
“When lions invent the internet you can look it up.”
The conversation takes a disturbing turn towards the recent activities of Trump's two older sons, Donald Jnr and Eric, who are both avid big game hunters.
I am lying down on my haunches at the foot of the table, beneath the loosely-pleated hem of the gold-embroidered cloth. Barron bends down in his chair and proffers a cupped hand filled with milk-sodden Cheerios.
“Don't worry,” he whispers loudly in my ear. “You are a magic lion who will never die.”
As I slink away between the marbled Doric columns and pad out of the breakfast room, I hear Barron ask his father:
“Daddy, can lions breathe underwater?”
In the east gallery I encounter Warren, a former member of the secret service who has been sewn into a bear costume. He tells me that he has been sold to the Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin. He is due to be shipped out to Moscow tomorrow.
“Phone the Democratic National Convention,” he says. “Tell them to get word to Bernie Saunders. In the past he has always stood up for lions and bears.”
He scratches the number into the zebra-skin wallpaper. It takes me three attempts to dial it correctly with my cumbersome paws.
A woman who introduces herself as Debbie Wasserman Schultz answers the phone. When I ask for Bernie Saunders she tells me that nobody by that name works there and hangs up.
Later I read in the paper about an intercepted email from the League of African Herbivores to the DNC, offering to endorse Hillary Clinton to the tune of $2million, if she runs for President on an anti-lion platform and appoints an antelope as head of the United States Postal Service.
That evening on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah asks Bernie Saunders for his opinion on Hillary's willingness to throw lions under the bus for the sake of a couple of million in change.
“That is why we must we must elect Hillary Clinton, so that can she can address the corruption in the Democratic Party,” replies Bernie.
In the adjoining room I hear Trump and a potential campaign donor discussing the possibility of dyeing my fur red.