8th July

A Lion at Wimbledon

A row has broken out over accusations that, following Andy Murray’s victory in the Wimbledon men’s singles final, the First Minister of Scotland released a lion onto Centre Court.

Spectators who seconds earlier had been cheering Murray’s success were horrified to see a fully grown male lion run onto the grass and lie down. Fortunately the animal seemed to be in good humour and not hungry. Murray was on the roof of the commentary box at the time, but this had nothing to do with the appearance of the lion, as he had climbed there to receive congratulations from his coaching team and members of his family. Line judges, ball boys and ball girls and the defeated Novak Djokovic rapidly retired from the court, however, while Mr Lahyani, the umpire, wisely stayed put in his high chair.

A quick-thinking groundsman, armed only with a garden fork and a length of tennis net, approached the lion from the rear and threw the net over it. Thus ensnared, the king of beasts was deemed to be of no immediate threat to the public, and indeed it fell asleep in the sunshine. The awards ceremony proceeded, and photographs were taken of the players standing next to the lion with their trophies.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: ‘The lion rampant is one of Scotland’s national symbols. It is hardly surprising that a lion should be present on such a great occasion for Scottish sport.’ Pressed on whether the First Minister had smuggled the animal into Wimbledon she declined to engage in what she described as ‘speculation’.

One eyewitness claimed that earlier he had observed the First Minister’s wife carrying a ‘bulging’ sports bag into the royal box, and that the same bag appeared to be empty after the incident.

Wild animals are not permitted within the grounds of the All England Tennis Club, an official confirmed. Whoever was responsible had shown a gross disregard for public safety, he added.

However, examination of the lion after it had been tranquillised revealed that it had no teeth, whether as a result of surgery or decay was not clear.

Despite recent improvements Scotland has one of the worst oral-health records in Europe.

Reader: Tam Dean Burn
Fiddle: Aidan O'Rourke
Guitar: Sorren Maclean
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