The Haughty Lion
“The Haughty Lion” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Bennidict Louise C Salvador, Mother Care Academy, Philippines.
The Haughty Lion
One sunny day at the African Savanna, Leo, the lion was looking for his prey. He came across his cheetah friends, Carl and Harry, catching their prey with great speed.
Leo ran to them and asked, “How did you get that speed?” they replied,” We’re cheetahs, we’re born with it.”
Leo asked again, “Do you think I can run as fast as you can?”
Carl answered, “Sure!”
Harry added, “If you practice running very hard, you may become faster than us”
Meanwhile, Leo was tasked to find food for his pride. While doing this, he met his friends and spotted a zebra.
Leo asked, ”Can you catch that zebra for me?”
The cheetahs replied, “Of course! We will do that because we’re friends!”
The cheetahs easily caught the zebra and handed it to Leo. Incidentally, without Leo’s knowledge, Arthur, another lion saw the whole scenario and told the pride.
So, when Leo, Carl, and Harry came with the dead zebra to the pride, Leo was surprised. Instead of the pride praising him, the pride praised the cheetahs.
“Hooray for the cheetahs!” “We’re not starved any longer! Let’s reward them for that!”
Shamed by what he heard, Leo hid behind the tree. He felt bad not getting the credit for catching the zebra.
So he made up his mind to catch food for the pride himself. “But how?” he thought. He remembered what his friends told him that he could be a fast runner if he practiced. So he practiced running without his friends’ knowledge.
One afternoon, after practicing to run fast, he came across his friends who hadn’t finished their food yet.
Carl called Leo, “Hi Leo, do you want to eat with us?” Leo replied, “No, thanks!” He left without a word.
Carl and Harry whispered to each other, “Why is Leo acting like that?
Many days passed by and still, Leo was acting strangely.
For the second time, when he was tasked to catch a prey for his pride, Arthur, spied again on Leo. Arthur wanted to see if the cheetahs would catch the prey again for Leo. To Arthur’s surprise, Leo did not ask his friends. Instead, Leo caught the prey on his own.
At sunset, Leo got home with a prey for the pride. Carl and Harry were also there to celebrate Leo’s catch. Leo proudly said “Ha. Ha. Ha, I got my own prey.” Carl and Harry did not take that as an offense because they felt that Leo was just happy.
One lucky day, Leo saw Carl and Harry with four preys. Because of too much envy, Leo sneaked through Carl and Harry’s home and stole 2 preys. After stealing 2 preys, he caught one more so that it would look like he caught 3 preys for the pride. Upon reaching home, Leo called Arthur to help him carry his three preys. The pride was surprised that Leo caught 3 preys.
The next morning, Carl and Harry reported to Leo’s pride that their 2 preys were missing. They asked, “Did someone see 2 of our preys?” The pride replied, “Nope.”
When Leo visited his friends, he felt guilty and sad. He saw Carl and Harry starving because their other preys escaped. He got so upset for what he did. So, he offered them some. Still, he didn’t admit that he was the one who stole the zebras.
As usual, Leo was practicing to run in an open space terrain he didn’t fully know. There were some trees covering the village. The trees had some traps to protect the villagers’ source of food. He ran very fast. Carl and Harry saw Leo with great speed. They chased him to stop him from getting into the traps.
Carl and Harry shouted, “Hey Stop! We said stop!” But Leo didn’t listen.
He even proudly shouted, “So, who’s the fastest now?” The cheetahs slowed down because they knew there were traps on the trees. As expected, Leo was trapped.
Carl and Harry then helped their friend. Leo was so thankful to them. Because of this, he admitted his crime He apologized to his friends He promised not to be proud again.