The little lion and the lost Crown

By Zaira Lace

Once upon a time there was a cute lion cub called Little M.  He was mischievous and cheeky but lots of fun. His name was special because he was named after his dad, Mighty, the most respected lion in the waterhole. Mighty was the king. Little looked up to his dad, but it was his mum, Inkabel, that Little M adored because she took care of him and played with him every day.

Little M lived in a cozy cave near a beautiful waterhole called ‘Shimmering Waters’.  This waterhole was crystal clear and its water tasted ever so slightly of salt.  It was surrounded by tangled trees and the edge was dotted with yellow daisies, but Little M’s favourite part was the sparkling waterfall. It was this very waterfall that would get Little M into very BIG trouble.

One particular momorning, Little M was finishing his breakfast when he heard a familiar sound outside the cave.  He ran out excitedly barely hearing his mum and dad plead for him to have fun but be careful.  

The sun was shining, the waterfall shimmering and there was his best friend Ginger growling for him to come play with her. 

Little M ran over to hug Ginger, but as he reached her he accidentally tripped and together they tumbled down to the waterhole’s edge.  They got up and giggled as Ginger burst out, ‘What exciting adventure are we going to have today?’. 

‘I know’, exclaimed Little M. ‘Let’s climb the waterfall to find the treasure!’ 

Ginger gasped! ‘But Little M, you know that’s dangerous. Mighty has forbidden all the creatures of the waterhole from climbing that waterfall, especially you!”

Little M huffed, ‘Boring! Oh,because, come on, you’re no fun! It will be fine. No one will find out until we come back with whatever that shiny thing is and they won’t care because well, we’ll be … HEROS!’.

Ginger wasn’t convinced, but there was no changing Little M’s mind.

‘Fine,’ she sassed, ‘I’ll come in case you hurt yourself and need saving by a real hero. ‘

They both giggled as Little M ran ahead and began to climb the waterfall.  It was slipperier than he expected, but he carefully climbed one rock at a time.

As Ginger began to climb, she started feeling very ginger.  She didn’t like heights. She yelled out to Little M, ‘It’s too dangerous. I don’t want to go any further.’

Little M snorted, ‘Fine, don’t come if you don’t want to. snorted,I’ll still share the treasure, but not my new hero claim to fame. 

Ginger carefully made her way back down and sat at the bottom, watching her friend climb high and higher until he reached the top.

‘I made it, I can’t believe it,’ Little M shouted from the top. ‘Bet you wish you were up here now, Ginger’.

‘Yeah, nah, I’m very happy with my feet on solid ground’, Ginger said. ‘Now my hero, go get that treasure.’

Just then, Little M turned around and saw a shining light coming from in between two rocks under the flowing water. 

‘Ginger’, he squealed, ‘I’ve found it.  It’s glowing.’

In that moment, Ginger suddenly wished she was up there too so that she could see what the shiny thing was.

To get to the treasure, Little M had to jump over the rushing water and onto the rocks holding the shiny prize.  His heart started to race as he caught a glimpse over the edge of the waterfall, realising that he was actually very high up.  He felt a little scared, but he was too close to turn around now. 

Ginger saw him just standing there.  She knew Little M was probably feeling frightened.  He needed encouragement. 

‘Come on, my hero, make your move. That treasure isn’t going to just jump into your paws’.

Little M took a deep breath, leapt over the water, and landed on the boulder. 

‘Yes!’ he shouted with relief. Little M looked between the rocks and there,shiny,then, glowing and shiny, was the treasure.  It was an ancient gold crown.  He bent down to pick the treasure up with his mouth and carefully caught it with his paws. The crown was beautiful. It was the shiniest thing he’d ever seen.  He couldn’t wait to wear it so he began to raise it up to his head.  Just then one of the boulders came loose and began to roll towards him.  Before he could get out of the way it caught him by his tail.  Little M dropped the crown over the edge and into the water far, far below. 

There he was, left at the top with his paws hanging off the edge. He was STUCK!

Little. M began to cry. He began to wail. He began to SCREAM…  ‘Help, Help, Ginger I’m stuck.  Please help me’.

Ginger quickly got up and ran over to Little M’s cave, calling out to Mighty and Inkabel. 

‘Come, quick! Little M is stuck at the top of the waterfall!”

Little M’s parents looked at each other in fright. Mighty ran out of the cave and in a flash leapt over the slippery rocks all the way to the top of the waterfall leaving Inkabel and Ginger at the bottom.

Inkabel pleaded with Mighty. ‘Please save him. Oh, please save our boy.’ 

Ginger watched from behind her two paws., hoping her friend would be ok.

Mighty found Little M hanging over the edge, soaking wet and wailing. ‘Dad, I’m so scared. Please help me’.

‘Stay calm, I’m here. You must do to exactly what I say.’ instructed Mighty. 

Little M knew his dad was going to look after him.  

‘Give me your paw’, Mighty asked calmly. Slowly, Little M reached his paw behind him to where his dad was on the rock above. Mighty gently took Little M’s paw into his mouth and held on tightly. Carefully, he freed Little M’s tail and tugged him back from the edge. He put Little M down on the rock beside him and they hugged tightly. 

‘What were you doing, my boy?’, asked Mighty. 

‘I was trying to get the treasure.’, sobbed Little M. 

‘And did you?’, questioned Mighty.

‘Yes, but then I dropped it over the waterfall and it’s gone!’. Little M started to cry again. 

‘Well, what you did was a very cheeky thing.  Do you know just how dangerous that was? That’s why I asked you and all the waterhole creatures to never climb up here. I didn’t want you to get hurt.’ 

I will never do it again, Little M promised. ‘I’m so sorry, Dad, for not listening to you.’ 

‘I forgive you, but now you’re going to have to trust me to carry you back down.’

Little M lowered his head allowing his dad to pick him up by the neck. He closed his eyes as they made their way down. The view was too scary to watch.

At the bottom, Inkabel and Ginger ran over and gave both Mighty and Little M the biggest hugs in the world. 

Inkabel said softy, ‘You gave me the biggest fright.  I was so scared, Little M. Don’t ever do that again.’

Little M whispered, ‘I promise Mummy.’

Little M turned to Ginger. ‘I can’t believe I lost the treasure. Did you see it tumble over the cliff into the water? I’m so clumsy.’

‘You sure are’, teased Ginger. ‘I can’t believe you almost fell off that cliff.  You silly cub. You might not be a hero yet, but I still love you’.

As Ginger leaned in to give Little M a hug, she saw something shiny hidden amongst the yellow daisies. 

‘Ohhhh’ she gasps, ‘You didn’t lose it.

‘What?’ Little M says.

‘The treasure. Look over in the patch of daisies.’ They all turned to see the crown shining through the flowers. 

Mighty exclaims, ‘My crown! Oh, I was wondering where that went’, he said, picking it up and putting it on his head.

Little M whined, ‘Awe!  How come it’s yours and not mine? I found it.’

‘Because, my boy, I am the king.’, said Mighty. ‘But it won’t be mine forever.  One day, when you’ve leant to be wise and to make good choices, this crown will be yours’.

The look on Little M’s face was everything!


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