Post-classical history

§ Cheetahs versus Leopards: Let the Buyer Beware

It is practically impossible to tame a leopard or to get it to be friendly with people. One time, I was passing through the city of Haifa on the coast, while it was held by the Franks. One of the Franks asked me, ‘You want to buy a nice cheetah?’

‘Yes,’ I replied. So he brought me a leopard that he had raised until it had grown to the size of a dog.

‘No,’ I said, ‘this doesn’t suit me. This is a leopard, not a cheetah.’ But I marvelled at that leopard’s tameness and demeanour with the Frank.

The difference between the leopard and the cheetah is that the face of the leopard is long like the face of a dog and its eyes are pale, whereas the face of the cheetah is round, and its eyes are black.

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