The Lesson Lion Had to Learn – A Children’s Story

One day King Lion decided to call a meeting of all the animals in the jungle.

"I have decided," he said, "that we must decide who belongs in the animal kingdom, and who doesn’t."

The animals were quiet. Some were angry. Some were afraid. All were waiting to hear what King Lion’s next words would be.

"I have decided that all animals small enough to be stepped on are no longer part of the animal kingdom anymore."

Nellie the elephant smiled. "Then thank goodness I’m not king," she thought to herself, "or I’d be the only animal in my kingdom." But she didn’t say anything, because in spite of her size, she was rather shy and timid.

The small animals started to cry. "Why"" they asked King Lion. "Why don’t you want us in the animal kingdom anymore?"

"Because you’re useless, that’s why," he roared angrily. "My word is final. Any further questions, and I’ll eat you up!"

But Reepicheap the field mouse was not afraid.

"King Lion," he squeaked, "one day you will find out you made a big mistake. Small animals are not useless."

The meeting was over, and the animal kingdom was not a happy place.

On one fine day King Lion went for a stroll through the woods. He was in a pretty good mood, and roared a song on the top of his lungs. (Don’t tell him, but most of the animals think he roars terribly false!)

While he was strolling merrily along, he felt a sharp, twanging pain in his foot. The roaring stopped, and he looked down to see what happened. His foot was caught in a trap. He pulled and pulled, but his foot was stuck.

For hours he stood like this, pulling until he was blue in the face. But no go. His foot was still stuck, terribly sore and full of blood.

In despair, he started to moan and cry. It was a terrible sound coming from the king.

Reepicheap, being in the area, went to see what the terrible noise was. He found Lion in a terrible state. "What’s the matter, O King?" he asked.

"My foot is stuck," the lion moaned.

"I can help," said Reepicheap. "Let me gnaw through the rope for you."

He started to gnaw. In no time at all, the lion’s foot was free. He roared with delight. "Thank you, Reepicheap. Thank you!" he said.

"Pleasure, my king. But, can you now see that small animals are useful?"

"Yes, little field mouse. I can now see that I made a mistake. I shall call a new meeting. Please tell the little animals to come too."

At the meeting King lion said: "All animals, big and small are welcome in my kingdom. I have learnt a lesson. No matter how small, useless and unimportant we may seem, or how big and clumsy, all of us have a place in the kingdom. All of us are useful, and there might be a day when you may find you need my help, or I need yours. Let’s all be a happy animal family."

The animals were all overjoyed. They were dancing, skipping, slithering and flying all around King Lion. Nellie blew her trumpet and waved her trunk with joy. Never before has the jungle witnessed such a party as the one that happened the day King Lion learnt his lesson.

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