A lesson in kindness
Adapted by Caroline Meek
Once there was a lion who was absentmindedly walking through a forest in Rome, when he accidently stepped in a rose bush. To his chargin he had a stubborn thorn stuck in his paw. Try as he might, he couldn’t get it out. Frantically, he roared and charged about until he came to a pasture at the edge of the forest. There he spotted a humble shepherd watching his flock. He pleadingly walked up to him and because he showed no signs of malice, the boy kindly pulled out the thorn without a single thought as to his own safety.
Sometime after this, the shepherd was wrongly accused and arrested. His fate was in the hands of the evil emperor Nero, who sentenced him to be thrown to the lions. The shepherd pleaded miserably but it was in vain. After a lion had been caught and starved, the shepherd boy was thrown into a ring and there the lion was released. He let out a vicious roar, which did nothing to improve the boy’s nervous, no, petrified state, and without warning, began to charge!!
The shepherd lost all hope as the lion leaped toward him. But suddenly, to everyone’s surprise, the lion stopped in his tracks. Wtih a small coincidence, and a great deal of luck, he had recognized the boy to be the same one who had helped him not so long ago in the little clearing in the forest. Presently, he laid down beside the shepherd and gave him a thorough licking. In the end, the king graciously pardoned the boy and let them both go free. Because of his kindness, the boy’s life was saved.