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The Lion and the Mouse

A story by Hema R Acharya

Once upon a time the king of all the animals - the lion - wanted to see what was happening in his jungle so he decided to investigate. He walked on for miles looking around. Soon all that walking made him hungry so he had something to eat. As it was a very hot day after his meal the lion felt drowsy and fell asleep near the rats' house. The rats having seen the lion were afraid at first but then realized that he was fast asleep and so they decided to play a trick on him. They started by climbing on the lion then scratching him and tickling him and finally pulling and tugging at his whiskers. This woke the lion up. As he had not had enough sleep he roared and started chasing the rats. The rats were frightened and started running in all directions to escape from the lion.

Unfortunately one of the rats was caught and the lion wanted to punish him, so he started to squeeze him under his paw. The rat pleaded and said that he would never do such a thing again and that the lion should spare him; for this the rat promised the Lion that he would repay him some day. The lion calmed down and was impressed by what the rat said, but at the back of his mind he wondered how that little rat was going to repay him. The lion said: "as I am not hungry and still would like to sleep I shall spare you this time, but remember: next time you will not be spared". The rat thanked him and ran away as fast as he could.

Now in the meantime some guards from the King's army were searching for a lion for the king's collection of animals. They came across the sleeping lion and decided to capture him. They threw a net over him and tied him up. Then they went to get more help in order to carry the lion back to the palace. Soon the lion woke up and realized that he could not move . He thought that the rats were up to their tricks and started to roar loudly. Soon enough the little rat heard this and came to see what was going on. The lion saw the rat and was very angry, he tried desperately to free himself in order to get the rat. But the rat said to the lion: "stay still and keep quiet. I will get my friend to come and help so that we can free you." The lion then realized that it was not the rat that had done this to him. The little rat with his friends soon freed the lion by chewing through the net with their long teeth. By the time the king's guards came back for the lion the rats had escaped and were never seen in that part of the jungle again. The lion thanked the rat for his help and they parted on good terms.