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About Aboriginal Dreamtime



Oban's Myths & Legends

Ancrocles and the Lion (continued)
Aesop fable retold by Oban

Oban the Knowledge Keeper

As he lay there, waiting for the lion to leap on him and eat him, Androcles decided to be as brave as he could be. “If I’m going to die like this, I will die proudly as a free man, staring death in the face. Not as a slave, begging for mercy.”

He stared bravely at the large beast, waiting for it to rush and pounce on him. But the lion just kept limping forward slowly, and Androcles realised it was trying not to walk on one of its front paws. He kept very still and the lion came closer. Now he could see that the paw was swollen and covered in blood, and there was a large thorn sticking out of it.

The animal stopped in front of him and Androcles knew it was in pain. There was a sad, pleading look in its eyes, and it held out the injured paw.

“You want me to take the thorn out” he said softly. “I can do that, but it’s going to hurt you – and maybe I’ll get hurt too!” he whispered.

LionAndrocles crouched on his knees, took a deep breath and took the injured paw in his hands. “Here goes – please don’t eat me” he thought, as he held the thorn between his fingers and pulled it out as quickly as he could.

The lion roared and leapt into the air “RrroooaaaR!”

“Aaaaahhh” screamed Androcles, and fell backwards onto the ground.

The lion landed over Androcles, with his paws at each side of his body, and their faces close together. But instead of eating him, the lion licked Androcles’ face with its big, wet tongue and purred – as if saying “thank you”.

“That’s OK” said Androcles, not daring to move. The lion licked him and purred again.

Slowly Androcles wriggled out from between the huge paws and stood up. The lion didn’t move, so Androcles patted him on the head and said “You are very welcome! And thank you for not eating me!”

The lion stared at Androcles for a long moment as if to say thank you and then limped off into the forest. Androcles breathed a sigh of relief and sank down onto the ground again, exhausted.

As he lay there, getting his strength back, he heard a voice shout “There he is!”

 continue >> Ancrocles and the Lion Part 3