In the early days before the high and far off times when beast ruled the ways, just after the Eldest magician had got things ready, the sandy lion, O best beloved, had no mane. He only had a pinkly sandy skin. He was shy and stooped and his roar was that of a sheepish squeaking sound. He was filled with an innocent fear that could never be quenched, and lived feeling sorry for himself on the upper country.
One dusty summer’s morn on the banks of the upper country the sandy lion saw the ‘specially treacherous tiger, who could most definitely not be trusted. The treacherous tiger self-confidently sauntered towards the sandy lion and growled in a most untrustworthy fashion.
“Sandy lion why is it so that you hide away from the other cats so shy and stooped when you could be free in the life of the leafy jungle shades?”
The sandy lion flinched as he sheepishly said.
“For I could not possibly leave the upper country and its grassy banks for the leafy jungle shades. There are too many things that creak and squeak and jump and bump, I do not belong in a place like that.”
The sandy lion showed his squeaking sheepish roar to show his deceitful companion of his reason behind his point. The treacherous tiger smiled with assembled amusement in his eyes and began to purr pensively. The sandy lion ruefully retreated on revealing his stooped and shy nature to one most treacherous.
“Come with me O sandy lion and I will show you the ways of the leafy jungle shades, for no thing that creaks or squeaks or jumps or bumps will ever scare you whilst I am with you, for I am the prince of the leafy jungle shades.” And he roared a startling roar to prove this to the shy and stooped lion. Upon hearing this most astonishing roar the sandy lion retreated and nodded his great head timidly in acceptance of the tiger’s inviting idea. They set off there and then O best beloved with the pinkly sandy lion following closely behind the terrible tiger’s tail.
After much twisting and turning and diving and ducking they found themselves deep in the leafy jungle shades. Every jump and bump and squeak and creak the shy and stooped lion edged ‘sclusively closer to the treacherous tiger. Then one particularly dangerous creak the lion turned expecting the tiger’s support, and in most untrustworthy fashion the treacherous tiger was not to be found. The shy and stooped lion was even shier than before. He was stood alone, O best beloved, in the dark of the leafy jungle shades.
“O most treacherous tiger, where have you gone, for I cannot find my path out of the leafy jungle shades alone, as there are too many things that bump and…” Before he could even finish his sentence something did jump and creak and squeak on the great lion’s sandy shoulder. The sandy lion panicked in a most wonderful fashion, he thrashed and bashed and pushed and pulled until he was free from the unknown being. He started running in great fear, sprinting in the darkness of the leafy jungle shades into a great grassy bramble patch. Again he thrashed and bashed and pushed and pulled breaking the brambles which collected at his wheezing neck. He ran and he ran moaning with pain his sheepish squeaky roar getting deeper and deeper, louder and louder until the most frightening roar erupted from his midst that could be heard all the way in the upper country. He roared again in an even more magnificent fashion breaking free of the thinning brambles. He leapt out of the leafy jungle shades in pure joy shaking his newly fashioned bramble mane to and fro and roaring in pure delight.
The treacherous tiger O best beloved sauntered once again not so confidently up to the mighty lion and circled him to see the terrific transformation.
“See sandy lion you are a mighty and proud animal after all, and as for your sheepish squeaking roar.” He laughed a guileful giggle and went on his treacherous way looking for another being to deceive.
So the mighty lion went away and lived happily ever after best beloved. That is all. If you ever see a lioness you will see she does not have a mane, you will know that she was not present for the treacherous tiger’s transformation, but is still just as proud.