"Lions and Tigers and Bears" is a short story from the collection Central Park.
Central Park is perhaps the most well-trod and familiar green space in the country. It is both a refuge from the city and Manhattan's very heart; a respite from the urban grind and a hive of activity all its own. Eight hundred forty-three carefully planned acres allow some 37 million visitors each year to come and get lost in a sense of nature. Unsurprisingly, the park also inspires a wealth of great writing, and here Andrew Blauner collects some of the finest fiction and nonfiction - 20 pieces in all, with classics sprinkled among 13 new ones commissioned from great New York writers.
Bill Buford spends a wild night in the park; Jonathan Safran Foer envisions it as a tiny, transplanted piece of a mythical Sixth Borough; and Marie Winn answers definitively Holden Caulfield's question of where the ducks go when the park's ponds freeze over. There are bird sightings and fish sightings; Jackie Kennedy and James Brown sightings; and pieces by Colson Whitehead, Paul Auster, and Francine Prose. This vibrant collection presents Central Park in all its many-faceted glory, a 51-block swath of special magic.
I enjoy Bill Buford's writing and this was a good story (from the New Yorker originally, I believe). That said, the description here seems to imply there are other stories included in the performance, which it isn't. This is just one short form piece by Buford, read by Scott Aiello (who did a pretty good job. could perhaps pause more strategically between shifts in historical asides and storytelling).