(Lion. Web Source: Wiki Commons)
Story. Androcles, a former slave, and Lion, a former circus lion, has been friends before they were granted freedom. They have shared a lot of time together in the forest. Usually, Lion would bring Androcles game and Androcles would make the food. After both were granted freedom and a reward for their friendship, they decided to travel the lands.
On their first journey, the man and lion walked to a neighboring kingdom. They saw a group of men running towards them. Androcles and Lion stopped in their tracks in case they had to run away as well. However, there was nothing chasing them. There was just a house.
“Hm, that was weird,” commented Androcles.
Both Androcles and Lion kept walking until they heard someone talking.
“It was me. I made them run away,” said a voice.
Androcles and Lion looked around for the person talking.
(Windowsill. Web Source.)
“Over here, on the windowsill,” said the voice.
They both looked at the windowsill and found a boy the size of a thumb.
“You two look like a mighty fine pair. Do you mind helping me?” asked the thumb-sized boy.
They both looked at each other wondering whether they should help him. After all, this thumb-sized boy did scare off a group of men.
Reading their minds, the thumb-sized boy said, “Don’t worry about me. They were a group of thieves. They wanted to rob this house, but I alerted the owner. My name is Thumbkin and I need help returning home.”
After hearing this, they were happy to help. Androcles put Thumbkin on his shoulder and escorted him home with Lion. At Thumbkin’s house, his parents were overjoyed to be reunited and they asked Androcles and Lion to stay a few days in return for their help.
Two days later, on a hot day, Androcles and Lion traveled to another kingdom. At this kingdom, they met a group of three men sitting and eating under a tree.
One man greeted them. “How do you do?”
“I am well. And you?” said Androcles.
“I’m very hungry,” said the Lion.
“Why,” the man said to Lion, “you can have some of our food.”
“You understand Lion?” Androcles asked in astonishment.
“Yes, I understand lion. I may be the only one who does. My name is Jack, and this is Andrew and Paul.” said the man while he motioned to his sitting companions. "And you are?"
Androcles and Lion introduced themselves, and they all chatted away as they ate. After eating, they all packed up, washed up, and walked to the nearest city. At the city, Paul pointed at two doves on top of an arch with a bell under it. Andrew, Paul, and Jack stood in line to walk under the arch. Paul and Andrew walked under the arch but nothing happened. Then, right when Jack passed through the arch, two doves flew on his shoulders and the bell rang even though there was nothing close to it. All the locals cried in joy and surrounded Jack.
“What is happening?” Androcles asked Paul, who walked under the arch first.
“Jack said that one of us three would become Pope. It is said that when someone walks under the arch and two doves fly on one’s shoulders and the bell rings, that person is fated to be the Pope.”
After Jack became the Pope, he traveled around with his two companions, Androcles, and Lion to experience all that they could and help everyone they could.
Author's Note. In Androcles and the Lion, Androcles was a slave who ran away from his master. He met Lion, who had a thorn on his paw, in the forest, and pulled out the thorn. Lion liked him ever since and Lion would bring Androcles an animal for Androcles to make food. Later, Androcles was captured by soldiers because he couldn't tell them what he was doing. When he was brought back, he was to be put to death because he ran away from his master. He was thrown in with lions in a huge circus so that the public can be entertained. However, when he was thrown in, Lion was his opponent and Lion just showed love towards Androcles. So, the king had both of them freed.
After reading Androcles and the Lion, I wondered if they traveled together in he end. All that was said in the end was that Androcles was freed and Lion was released to the forest. So, I wrote a story that continued their friendship. I wanted to write about their adventures, and since I have not incorporated characters from many stories in a single story, I decided to write this story. I chose Thumbkin and Jack because those two stood out to me while reading the whole unit.
As I wrote in Thumbkin, I figured that I would save him the trouble of going through many animals' stomachs. As for Jack's story, I wanted to write about one of the important parts that occurred in his story.
"Androcles and the Lion" from Europa's Fairy Book by Joseph Jacobs; link to reading online.
"Thumbkin" from Europa's Fairy Book by Joseph Jacobs; link to reading online.
"The Language of Animals" from Europa's Fairy Book by Joseph Jacobs; link to reading online.