ANDROCLES AND THE LION
Many years ago there lived in Rome a slave
by the name of Androcles. His master was such a cruel man that at last
Androcles decided to run away.
On a dark night he crept outside the city
walls and ran to the forest. In the morning, too tired to go farther, he
hid himself in a cave in the rocks. There he tried to plan what he should
Suddenly he heard the roar of a wild animal.
He jumped up, but before he could reach the mouth of the cave he saw coming
toward him a great lion.
As the lion came near, Androcles saw that
he was walking very slowly.
Then the lion lifted one paw and moaned
with pain. There was a thorn in the soft part of his paw.
Androcles had often taken thorns out of
the paws of his master's dogs. He gently took the lion's paw in his hand
and pulled out the thorn.
As soon as the thorn was out the lion rolled
over and over in his joy. Then he licked the feet and hands of Androcles,
as if to thank him.
From that time Androcles lived in the cave
with the lion. The lion was a good
|hunter and every day brought back meat for his friend.
One day Androcles left the cave to walk
into the forest. Suddenly he was seized by some soldiers whom his cruel
master had sent to find him. The soldiers took Androcles back to Rome and
threw him into prison.
After many days Androcles was taken from
prison to a large open place like a circus, with seats on every side. The
seats were full of men and women who had come to see Androcles fight for
his life with a lion.
Androcles stood still while the door of
the cage was opened and out bounded the hungry lion. On came the lion with
a terrible roar, but just as he reached Androcles he stopped and sniffed
the air. Then with a happy bound he lay down
and began to lick the hands and feet of Androcles and to rub his head
against him like a dog.
At first there was not a sound in the great
place. Then a mighty shout went up as the people saw that Androcles and
the lion were friends.
"Tell us," they cried, "how you made friends
with the lion."
So Androcles told the story of his life
in the forest. After he had finished, the people shouted, "Let them both
So Androcles and the lion went back to
the forest together.