A kind boy learns about a baby dragon who needs help. He goes on an adventure to save the dragon from Wild Island!
Chapter 7 – I Meet a Lion
I waved goodbye to the rhinoceros, who was much too busy to notice. Farther down, I took a drink from the brook, and then I went back to the trail. I hadn’t gone very far when I heard an angry animal roaring.
“Dang it! Why did you go blackberry picking yesterday. Won’t you ever learn? What will your mother say!”
I crept along and peered into a small clearing just ahead. A lion was jumping around and clawing at his mane, which was all tangled and full of blackberry twigs. The more he clawed, the worse it became. The worse it became, the angrier he yelled. In fact, there was nobody around… he was yelling at himself the whole time.
I could see that the trail went straight through the clearing, so I decided to crawl around the edge of the clearing. I stayed in the underbrush so that the lion wouldn’t notice me.
I crawled and crawled. Meanwhile, the lion’s yelling grew louder and louder. Just as I was about to reach the trail on the other side, the yelling suddenly stopped. I looked around and saw the lion glaring at me. The lion charged forward and skidded to a stop a few inches away from me.
“Who are you?” the lion yelled at me.
“My name is Elmer Elevator.”
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“I’m going home,” I said.
“That’s what you think!” said the lion. “Ordinarily, I’d save you for afternoon tea, but I happen to be upset enough and hungry enough to eat you right now.” And he picked me up with his front paws to feel how fat I was.
I begged him, “Oh, please, Lion, before you eat me, tell me why you are so upset today.”
“It’s my mane,” said the lion, as he counted how many bites it would take to eat the little boy. “You see what a dreadful mess it it! And I can’t seem to fix it. My mother is coming over on the dragon this afternoon. If she sees me this way, I’m afraid she’ll stop giving me my allowance. She can’t stand messy manes! But I’m going to eat you now, so I’m sure you don’t care about any of this.”
“Oh, wait a minutes,” I said. “I’ll give you just the things you need to make your mane all tidy and beautiful. I have them here in my backpack.”
“You do?” asked the lion. “Well, give them to me, and perhaps I’ll save you for afternoon tea.” And he put me on the ground.
I opened my backpack and took out the comb and the brush and the seven hair ribbons of different colors.
“Look,” I said, “I’ll show you what to do. I’ll do your bangs, and you can watch me. First, you brush a few times, and then you comb. Then, you brush again until all the twigs and knots are gone. Then, you divide it into three parts and braid it like this. Then, you tie a ribbon around the end.”
As I was doing this, the lion watched very carefully and began to look much happier. When I tied on the ribbon, he was smiling widely.
“Oh, that’s wonderful! Really wonderful!” said the lion. “Let me have the comb and brush and see if I can do it.”
So I gave him the comb and brush and the lion began busily grooming his mane. As a matter of fact, he was so busy that he didn’t even notice when I left.