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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
King of the Jungle

Larry didn't want to be the King of the jungle. “No, Papa. Please don't make me.”

Papa roared and shook his mane. “One day you must be king. Your a lion cub. It's your destiny to become king.”

Larry ran away from his papa. He hid in the jungle behind vines and leaves.

Three monkeys were swinging in the tree tops and saw Larry in hiding. “Look down there. It's our future king and he's hiding like a coward,” one of the monkeys said. “I'll show him how we treat cowards.” The monkey dropped a banana and it splattered on Larry's head. The other two monkeys dropped a papaya and a mango and then swung away on the vines.

Larry ran out from behind the vines and leaves, pulling the smashed fruit out of his mane. Instead of roaring like a lion, he sat on a tree stump and cried.

Two toucans watched Larry from above. “That's our future king? Such behavior is not acceptable.” The toucans opened their bills and dropped crushed berries on Larry's head.

He ran into a clearing and pulled the berries out of his fur. Instead of roaring, he cried again. “I'm all sticky.” he ran into the river and washed himself off, crying the whole time.

Four hippos watched Larry. “So that's our future king. He's not much of a leader, is he?” The hippos laughed at Larry and spat water at him.

A baby elephant and his mama walked past. “Why is that lion crying, Mama?” The baby elephant stared at Larry. “Isn't he supposed to be the king one day? I think he's a big baby.” The elephants walked into the river, filled their trunks with water and sprayed it all over Larry.

He stood in the river sobbing. The crocodiles swam by and laughed at him. The zebras, gazelles and wildebeests drinking from the river laughed at him and when an ostrich ran by and threw an egg at Larry, he stopped crying. He washed the egg off his face and looked at all the jungle animals. “ROAR!”

The animals shook with fear and ran away. Larry roared at the toucans and the monkeys on the way home. His papa sat with his head resting in his paws.

Papa, I'm ready to be trained to be King of the jungle.

Papa stood and picked Larry up, swinging him in the air. “Now that's better. That's my boy. You'll be a great King of the jungle.”

None of the animals ever made fun of Larry again. When he walked through the jungle, they ran and hid.

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