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Androcles and the Lion
The Children's Own Readers - Book Three
by Mary E. Pennell and Alice M. Cusack, Illustrated by Maurice Day and Harold Sichel
Boston: Ginn and Company 1929


     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 do next.
     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 go free."
     So Androcles and the lion went back to the forest together.