Guest post by Adrian Walker, “The Snake Whisperer”
The Latin for king is rex and of course many English kings have borne the title over the centuries. Thus its fitting that the king of the Boulevard in Iquitos should also bear the name of Rex. His realm may be small and his subjects few in number but his rule is strong and his domain is never unprotected against intruders, pretenders to his throne and those with thoughts of invasion.
Rex is of course the tawny coloured, flea ridden street dog whose territorial rights extend from Dawn on the Amazon café further along the Boulevard to a point perhaps determined by the size of area Rex can safely guard. As with all rulers Rex has loyal courtiers and a harem of wives. It’s these that Rex must be careful with as one or more of their offspring may one at a given time challenge Rex for the sovereignty of his domain.
His rule is by bark and fight, bark to remind would be usurpers of his presence and watchful vigilance, fight when one issues a direct challenge. In a fight Rex has never been beaten but as a dogs life is brief in human terms, his strength will wane and there will come a day when a new Rex arises from one of the scraps that are a regular feature of the kings’ life.
A little grey around the edge of his muzzle Rex is showing signs of decline and his life will be shorter than a loved domestic pet, pampered and fed each day. Rex must forage for scraps thrown out or steal an opportunity to thieve when the chance arises. His meals are hard won like his territorial rule. In the meantime Rex is king and has earned the respect of those who sit at Dawn on the Amazon and watch the king as he prowls restlessly in defense of the realm.
He craves affection and play and frequently visits the café hoping for a kind word, a pat on the head or a playful romp with a friendly customer. In all Rex is a likeable despot, carving out a short, brutal life on the streets of Iquitos.
King Of The Boulevard, Iquitos Peru
Hello, this is Bill Grimes reporting from Iquitos Peru. Adrian Walker and his family are living and bird watching from one of the Dawn on the Amazon apartments, and eating most meals at the Dawn on the Amazon Cafe, with a view of the river and jungle on the other side, while considering the options to purchase or rent, or build a lodge. Adrian was kind enough to write this series of articles for my Captain’s Blog and the Iquitos Times. We hope this is Chapter seven of his new book, The Road to Iquitos. Click the links below to read chapters 1 – 6. Thank you.