The lion and the mouse, a retelling
This is a retelling of the Aesops fable of the lion and the mouse. The original tail ended with "a kindness is never wasted". I wanted to show one which was more based on forgiveness, so in this case the mouse had no reason at all to forgive the lion. In so many cases forgiveness has to be precisely this, one-sided. The mouse has no reason to think that the lion won't turn on him, and in our human relationships the people you befriend or forgive can quickly turn on you. And at this juncture, I won't even begin to explore what that might mean for Christians...or even those of other faiths. But if you would like to leave a comment, then please do.
The mouse and the Lion
A lion was prowling in the jungle one night when it came upon a really tasty looking piece of meat. He reached out his wide jaws and grabbed at it, but as he did so something very strange happened. A twang, a snap, and a very loud creak and suddenly the poor lion was hanging upside down from a tree, the meat hanging from his mouth! “Oh no,” groaned the lion, “A trap!”.
Sure enough, the lion had been caught in a trap set by hunters, and now he dangled from the branches of a tree, all tangled up in ropes. There was no way down. He felt miserable and started to cry...which to you and me would have sounded like loud angry lion roars, somewhat terrifying and filling the whole jungle.
Sometime later a tiny and timid field mouse came scampering through the jungle, doing what mice do best, which is looking for berries and nuts and the like. It had no interest in large pieces of meat, and most of the time tried to avoid big lions, especially ones that roared loudly. Today, however, was not one of those days, and the mouse found himself right underneath the lion before he realised it. Unsurprising, considering the lion was swinging around above his head from a tree - not the kind of a place suitable for the king of the beasts at all!
Taking the opportunity, the mouse decided he would make fun of the lion. Afterall, the lion had tried many times to catch the mouse, and eat it, and each time the mouse had managed to be quick and clever enough to avoid being caught. It was high time, thought the mouse, that that lion got it’s just deserts. Which means the lion deserved it. And whilst he was so caught up in the rope, and unable to hurt the mouse, the mouse thought it a good chance to make the lion feel even worse.
So, the mouse ran up to the lion, jumped on its nose, and started to perform a kind of mouse like dance. Since the lion was swinging upside down from the tree this wasn’t the easiest thing for the mouse to do, but it was fun none-the-less. And it really annoyed the lion.
“Look,” said the lion, “can’t you please stop, look at the mess that I’m in!”
“Well you deserve it!” said the mouse, “the number of times you have tried to catch me and eat me!”
The lion paused for a minute. He saw what he had done. And realised that the mouse had never done anything to him, apart from try to take a couple of seeds from his cave whilst he was sleeping. Perhaps it was the fact he was hanging upside down from the tree. Perhaps the lion knew that he, the one who is king of the beasts and is the greatest hunter of the jungle realised that it would be all over for him when the hunters came back. Perhaps he was truly sorry, we’ll never know. But from the lion’s eye ran a huge great tear.
“Mouse,” he said, “I am very sorry. I should never have tried to kill you. Please let me out and I won’t try to hurt you ever again.”
Of course the lion did deserve what he got. But the mouse was kindly, and saw the sadness in the lion’s eyes. “I forgive you lion, just see you don’t try to hurt me when next we meet.” and with that he scampered up and down the swinging lion, gnawing here and nibbling there, until finally he had released the lion from the ropes. And rather painfully the lion bumped down onto the ground, but at least free.
And from that day on, there was peace between the mouse and the lion.
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