The Lion and the Mouse
In the Great Forest there was a small mouse called Gentle. Gentle was a very sad mouse. He lived alone in a tree. All the other animals in the forest hated him. They said that he was weak and silly. All he wanted was a friend.
One day, Gentle was walking through the forest and talking to himself.
‘Who will be friends with a mouse like me? I am not smart like the other mice. I am not funny like the foxes. I am not quick like the birds. And I am not strong like the lion.’
There was one lion who lived in the Great Forest. The lion was called Crush. Everyone was scared of Crush the lion.
Gentle looked up. Of all animals to meet, he saw Crush was in front of him. He was lying a few metres ahead. But the lion was sleeping.
Gentle should have run away. Crush the lion was very strong, and very dangerous. But Gentle wanted to stop being so weak. None of the other mice went near Crush. If he went near him, he could tell the other mice. They would think he was strong. They would want to be his friend!
Carefully, Gentle climbed onto Crush and looked at him. He had big, round ears. He had lots of hair, and a big tail. Gentle thought that the lion looked amazing. He climbed onto his back, and then his tail, because he wanted to look at the tail more.
But then Crush woke up!
‘Aha, there is a mouse on my back!’
He took Gentle in his hand. Crush had caught Gentle, and Gentle could not leave. Crush looked very hungry.
‘Please don’t eat me!’ said Gentle. ‘I am only a small, silly mouse.’
‘You are very silly indeed! You walked onto me, the great lion of the forest. Usually I have to catch my own lunch! But today, my lunch comes walking up to me. Yum yum!’
Gentle didn’t know what to do. The lion looked so hungry. If he was a smarter mouse, he would tell him jokes. If Crush thought he was funny, maybe he would let him live.
But Gentle wasn’t funny. He could not think of one single joke.
But maybe there was another way…
‘If you let me live, I will help you in the future.’