The Register (Adelaide, SA) Tuesday, October 3, 1905
This article is titled. SLEPT IN A LION'S DEN. CHILD'S STRANGE -Encounter.
A little girl of six named Lucy Amelia Mingues, of Providence, Rhode Island has had the curious if questionable, honor of sleeping in a den of lions. The lions belonging to Ringling Brothers' traveling circus. Lucy Amelia, with her mother, had visited the circus in the ordinary way, but the little girl had been more particularly attracted to the lions cage, paying special attention to the two young lions. It was with difficulty she was got away to watch the rest of the performance. When it was over she tried to drag her mother back for a farewell look. But it was all in vain, as Mrs. Mingues was anxious to get home to avoid a threatened storm. There was, however, a rush and a crush to reach the tram, and in that struggle mother and child became separated. The excited mother was carried some distance on the car before she found she was alone. Eventually, she got the conductor to stop the car. Frightened and anxious, she hurried back to the starting point but could find no trace of her child. Whilst she was hunting about and making frantic appeals to everyone she met, the storm that had been gathering broke in all its fury. She then came to the conclusion that Lucy Amelia must have been seen by someone who knew her and taken home. When she reached the house, however, the child was not there, and the father at once proceeded to make a thorough search. He went to the circus grounds but found everything in darkness. No one had seen a baby girl about. The father, aided by eager volunteers, hurried from house to house making inquiries in vain. All night the excitement grew, and the number of searchers increased.
Just at daybreak, the word was passed that the child had been found. There was a rush towards the circus grounds, and before the father could reach the tent an animal trainer, armed with an iron spike and a heavy revolver, had entered the cage, picked up the child, and escaped. Little Lucy, after getting separated from her mother, and being frightened at the storm, had made her way back to the lions' cage to see the ''big pussies again.'' One of the trainers had inadvertently left open the door leading into the cage kept for the cubs alone, and which was separated from the bigger cage by a small door, through which only the cubs could pass. Seeing this door open the little girl had passed in, and then, being unable to get the ''pussies' to come out and play with her, had entered their cage.
The lion, she said in her childish way, roared, but the lioness seems to have received her kindly, and the cubs played with her. Then, as the night drew on, and it got cold and dark, she nestled close up to the lioness, lay down, and went to sleep. And there they had found the little one at daybreak, cuddled close to Lena, a majestic African lioness, while Leo, her mate, lay purring nearby, and the two cubs slept close to her. When the frightened keepers, after 15 minutes of cautious maneuvering, picked up the child and carried her safely out of the lions' cage (says The Chicago Tribune), she woke up and wept,
because they had taken her away from the 'pretty big pussies,' and Lena made the cage rock, and started a wild clamour in the animal tent by her roars of rage at being robbed of the human cub she had adopted.