Far, very far away in a jungle, there existed a mighty lion that the other creatures feared a lot. The lion was the king of the jungle and was a beast with no fear of any other animal and demanded respect from all. The mighty lion would spend about half of the daytime hunting and the rest sleeping. The other creatures in the forest feared to get close to the lion's den mainly when he was asleep because this could provoke his anger due to the disturbance caused.
One day, a little mouse became curious to know how the den of the mighty lion looked like and hid in a cave where the lion could rest. Upon getting closer to the cave, he could not see the king, lion. The mouse concluded that "The lion has gone somewhere, but, is he coming back soon? No, I don't think so." The mouse ran and sneaked into the lion's cave which was much desolated and very dark, was spacious for the lion to live there. In the cave, the mouse saw the large footprints of the lion on the ground which made him very afraid. The mouse thought of going back. Suddenly the mouse noticed the sound of the footsteps of the jungle king. "Oh no, he is coming, what do I do?" the mouse said. The lion had to go to a nearby river to satisfy his thirst and came to rest. The mouse hid in the dark cave and could see the lion's shadow on the ground. The lion rested at the entrance of the cave, and within no time he was deeply asleep, with his loud snores trembling the whole cave.
The mouse decided to leave the cave creeping out as silently as he could, but when crossing the lion at the entrance, his little tail touched the beast's left paw waking the 'lord of the jungle' up. The lion was furious on seeing the puny mouse in the den. The mouse was frightened and tried to run away, but unfortunately, the lion caught the poor mouse, opened his massive jaws to swallow him. The mouse cried out loud, "Please forgive me o king. I entered the cave out of curiosity, I was leaving and did not intend to wake you up if I have another chance to live, I will never forget your nobility my king, and will help you one bad day." The words of the mouse amused the lion, how can this little thing help me?" The lion roared with laughter and allowed the mouse to go. The mouse ran faster thanking the stars.
Days passed, but unfortunately, as the mighty lion prowled through the jungle, a hunter's snare caught him. The more he struggled to set himself free, the more the ropes entangled him. He was very helpless and roared with anger shaking the whole jungle, and all the creatures, including the mouse, heard his cries. The mouse said, "The king of the jungle is in trouble, and this is my chance to help him back." The mouse ran very fast towards the place the sounds came from. The mouse found the mighty lion in the hunter's snare. The mouse told the lion to stay calm, and without wasting time the mouse began cutting the ropes, and within no time the lion was free. The lion was very surprised and said to the mouse, "I didn't know that you could help me, but I was very wrong." From that day, the two animals became great friends.
Answers to the Questions Fable Title: The Lion and the Mouse
1. Explain the significance of the animals chosen for this fable?
The lion in the fable demonstrates superiority, the king or people who see themselves as very powerful and don't think can need help from others, while the mouse represents the group of animals or people who others see as valueless and powerless.
2. Does it have a significant beginning, middle, and conclusion?
Yes, the fable begins with the little mouse, seen as powerless begging the lion for kindness. In the middle of the story, the lion gets into trouble and needs help. The conclusion is that it is the mouse who rescues the lion.
3. What seems to be the "complication" in this piece?
In the fable, the lion is a big animal, considered as the king of the jungle but the mouse, a tiny creature helps him out.
4. How does this piece reflect a human foible, weakness, and "mistake"?
Human beings tend to look down upon others, especially the less fortunate in the society. According to the article, The lion & the mouse by Pinkney et al (2009), the advantaged think that their power cans anything for them forgetting that good deeds are always rewarded, but when they are in trouble, it is when they realize that the people they ignored and did not value are the only solution to their problems.
5. What is the moral specifically and how is it derived from the plot of this fable?
The moral lesson here is that small acts of kindness receive great rewards. At the beginning of the fable, the lion was furious when the mouse woke him up and wanted to swallow him, but when the mouse pleaded the lion let him go. To the lion letting the mouse go could have no significant meaning because he did not think that the mouse would help him someday. But came the time when the lion was in need, the mouse rescued him.
Pinkney, Jerry, et al. The lion & the mouse. Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers, 2009.
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