The Spotted Sphinx Author:Joy Adamson Joy Adamson, universally known for her epic of Elsa, the Kenya lioness, and her cubs, has a new and fascinating animal story to tell. This time it is centered on Pippa, a cheetah given to her by her owners, who had raised her as a pet. Mrs. Adamson decided to restore this great and graceful cat to its natural wild heritage, in spite of the fact ... more »that no domesticated cheetah had ever consented to return to the bush. Joy Adamson first gained the friendship and trust of her charge; then, with what Julian Huxley termed her "passionate patience and understanding love," she encouraged her to enter the wild life.
Eventually Pippa mated with a wild cheetah and lived in the bush. But this did not end her relationship with Joy Adamson: when the first litter was born, Pippa led her to her cubs.
The life of a wild animal is harsh -- but no less harsh is the life of someone dedicated to keeping in touch (over several years) with a family of wild cheetahs. Against a background of terrifying floods, an alarming bush fire, and the menace of bandits, Joy Adamson kept contact by making long daily treks, always burdened with heavy loads, through bush in which elephants might stampede at any moment, or one might inadvertently arouse the ire of lions and leopards. The record of the three years during which Joy Adamson watched over the development of Pippa and her young is as engrossing and as acutely observed as was her account of her relationship with Elsa. Elsa still looms large in the book as her human friend describes the contrast in character between the elegant, affectionate but enigmatic and elusive cheetah and the magnificent Elsa. The author's photographs of the story are complete and extraordinarily beautiful.« less