Completely unrelated to this week's story, but you're never too young (or old) for Morecambe & Wise
Greetings! Welcome to another Wednesday Bedtime Story. This one was written many moons ago, when I was but a wee thing of... Well, maybe 27. It's been much too hot to do a great deal of writing this evening, so I've cheated and used an old story. It was either that, or melt into my laptop keyboard... Anyway, enjoy!
Leroy The Lopsided Lion
Deep in the jungle, there lived a lion. His name was Leroy and he was very lazy. In fact, Leroy was so lazy that when his friends travelled to the water hole to drink, he would yawn, stretch out his paws and say: “I’m not thirsty,” before snuggling up in a bed of leaves and drifting off to sleep. When it came to dinner time, Leroy was always too lazy to hunt for food. Instead, he would flick out his tail and say: “Just save me something to eat later.” Then he would disappear into a dark cave and go back to sleep for a while longer.
The trouble was, Leroy was so lazy that the other jungle creatures didn’t want to be his friend. He never showed up to their animal parties, he never helped with any jungle jobs and worst of all, he was too lazy to care! The other animals in the jungle simply went about their business, leaving Leroy to sleep.
Leroy liked to sleep on his right side. But he slept so much that the hair on the right side of his mane had all worn down. On the left side of his head, he had a glorious, flowing mane, like all the other lions in the jungle. But on the right, he had short tufts of fur. He looked so silly that all the other animals called him “Leroy The Lopsided Lion.”
Leroy didn’t even notice. He was too busy sleeping.
Then one bright morning, Leroy decided to take a trip to the water hole for a long drink, before a nap in the sun. He had just settled himself down, when the other lions in his pride came along to invite him on a trip to find food. Leroy yawned and shook his lopsided mane. “I’m not hungry,” he said. “Bring me something back and I’ll eat it later.” Then he closed his eyes and went back to sleep.
Leroy was just drifting off, when he heard someone shouting in the distance.
Leroy opened one eye and yawned. He could make out a blurry creature in the distance. Deciding it probably wasn’t important, Leroy was about to go back to sleep when the voice cried out again.
“Please, somebody help!”
Leroy opened both eyes and rose to his feet. He shook his lopsided mane and peered towards the other side of the water hole. In the distance, he could see a family of rhinoceros, huddled together, backing away from some unseen danger. Leroy took a few steps forward. Suddenly, he heard a bang and the rhinos began racing towards him.
“Help us, Leroy!” One of them yelled. “It’s hunters - they have a gun! They’re looking for rhinoceros horns!”
As the rhinos ran into the jungle, Leroy spotted the hunters following close behind. Suddenly, he knew he had to do something. He stretched himself up to his full height and ran to confront them.
But one of the hunters simply threw his head back and laughed. “Hey, everyone!” He cried. “Look at this lion, with his wonky mane. He doesn’t look like much of a king of the jungle to me!”
Leroy’s eyes widened and he opened his mouth and let out a tremendous roar. “ROOOAAAAAR!”
The hunters staggered backwards. “Uh-oh,” one of them said. “He sounds like a king of the jungle!”
Leroy pounced forwards and roared even louder. “ROOOOAAAAR!”
The hunters turned and fled. Leroy had scared them away!
As the hunters disappeared, one of the rhinos slowly stepped out of the trees. “Are they gone?” He asked. Leroy nodded and smiled. The rhino beckoned his family and they all stood around Leroy the hero. “Thank you so much!” One of them said. “You saved our lives!”
Leroy beamed with pride. “I guess it doesn’t hurt to wake up and take notice of your surroundings from time to time,” he smiled. “I’m glad you’re all safe.” He yawned. “That whole adventure has made me a bit sleepy though...”
And with that, Leroy made his way back into the jungle to find a soft place to sleep. But the happiness he felt after helping the rhinoceros family didn’t disappear and after a while, Leroy decided to get up and go to meet more of the creatures he shared his home with. Later that day, the rest of his pride returned from their search for food and were surprised to see Leroy awake. The rhinoceros family proudly told the tale of how Leroy had rescued them from the human hunters. And from that day on, nobody called him “Leroy The Lopsided Lion” anymore.
And as for Leroy... He was so happy to have made so many new friends, that he decided to join in when he was invited out with the other animals and to try to stay awake more.
Well... Most of the time!