So You Think You’re the Lion Now

by Urial Langlois, illustrated by Laetitia Le Saux


On the very top of the highest hill, a lion sat perched on his throne with his crown firmly stuck on his head, and bossed all the animals around all the time.

He made everyone call him Supremely-Powerful.

 


Whenever he wanted something (and even when he didn’t) he bellowed out orders with his most powerful roar: “Wash my paws!”, “Brush my mane”, “I’m hungry, find me a gazelle’s leg to eat!”, “Bring me something to drink!”



Then, while he was digesting: “I’m bored, amuse me!”, “I’m cold, give me your clothes!”, “Admire me!”, “Scratch my bottom!”

And he never forgot some words of encouragement: “And jump to it!”, “You can do better than that!”, “You’re useless!”, and “It’s about time, too!”

It was orders, always orders, nothing but orders. From morning to night, the only thing Supremely-Powerful knew how to do was give orders.

 


One day, the pigeon (or rather Good-for-Nothing as Supremely-Powerful calls her), decides that she’s had enough.

Tired of obeying orders, she goes down the hill to live on the beach below.

 


The lion grunts, “She’ll be back, she needs me far too much!” But weeks pass and Good-for-Nothing does not come back.

 


On another day, the sheep (or rather Little-Pile-of-Droppings as Supremely-Powerful calls him), also has had enough.

Tired of obeying orders, he leaves, too.

 


The lion grumbles, “He’ll be back, he’ll miss my roars.”

 


But the weeks pass and Little-Pile-of-Droppings does not come back.  

The sheep joins the pigeon on the beach.  “Hello,” he says, “I’m going to live here so bring me a deck chair!”

 


“So you think you’re the lion now?” asks the pigeon.

“Oh dear, I’m so sorry,” bleats the sheep, “I don’t know what possessed me.”

 


A few days later, the dog (or rather Bag-of-Drool as Supremely-Powerful calls him), also has had enough.

Tired of obeying orders, he leaves also.

 


The Lion shouts, “You’ll come back, you can’t live without me! Who will you bring your ball back to?”

But the dog doesn’t even look back as he continues on his way.

 


The dog joins the pigeon and the sheep on the beach.

“Hello,” he says, “I’m going to live here! I hope my kennel is ready.”

 


“So you think you’re the lion now?” asks the pigeon.

“Er… no, certainly not. Sorry,” stammers the dog.

Weeks pass and Bag-of-Drool does not come back.

 


Then one day the mule (or rather Donkey-Face as Supremely-Powerful calls her), has had enough.

Tired of obeying orders, she leaves without turning back.  

“They’ll all come back,” mutters the lion, “that useless lot can’t do anything on their own!”

 


But deep down inside, Supremely-Powerful is getting worried.

Good-for-Nothing isn’t there to fan him during his royal nap,

Little-Pile-of-Droppings isn’t there to knit his royal outfit,

Bag-of-Drool isn’t in the kitchen to cook his royal meals,

Donkey-Face isn’t there to carry his royal behind…

“So what,” he says to himself, “I’ll just replace them!”

 


The mule joins the pigeon, the sheep, and the dog.

“Hello, I’m going to live here so bring me something to graze on!”

“So you think you’re the lion now?” asks the dog.

“Oh bother, it’s true, I was trying to be the boss. Terribly sorry,” says the mule.

 


Weeks pass and naturally, Donkey-Face does not come back.

Free at last, and far from the lion’s demands, the pigeon, the sheep, the dog, and the mule enjoy their new, peaceful life together.

 


Meanwhile, Supremely-Powerful watches his best subjects disappear one by one: Poopy-Butt (the cow), Egg-Head (the chicken), Stinky-Breath (the ostrich), Droopy-Nose (the elephant), Nuts-for-Brains (the monkey), Hissy-Mouth (the snake), Asparagus-Neck (the giraffe), Cry-Baby (the crocodile) and Stripy-Pants (the zebra).

 


“Ha, ha, ha! I know they’ll all come back tomorrow, I’m far too important to them!”

 


But Good-for-Nothing, Little-Pile-of-Droppings, Bag-of-Drool, and Donkey-Face don’t come back. Poopy-Butt, Egg-Head, and Stinky-Breath don’t either. And neither do Droopy-Nose, Nuts-for-Brains, or Hissy-Mouth. Or Asparagus-Neck, or Cry-Baby, or Stripy-Pants.

None of them ever come back. Supremely-Powerful is all alone. “COME BACK HERE! COME BACK HERE IMMEDIATELY!” he roars as loud as he can.

But the hill is deserted, there is no one left to obey his orders. So the lion decides to go down the hill.

 


On the beach, he soon finds his subjects lounging in the sand. He smiles and thinks to himself out loud, “This beach will be perfect with my throne, and my bathtub, and all these idiots here to take care of me!”

He goes up to them and says, “Ah, there you all are! Didn’t you hear me calling you? Now go and get my throne, prepare my picnic, set up a parasol, and put on my sun cream. And get cracking!”

 


The animals are surprised. They look at each other for a moment… and then exclaim all together, “So you think you’re the lion now?”  

 


After a moment of hesitation, Supremely-Powerful raises his eyes to the heavens and cries, “But of course I do! Just look at me! Look at my mane, hear me roar… Can’t you tell that I’m the lion?”

 


The sheep replies, “No, you’re not the lion. The lion is up there on the hill.

 


And you can go right back up there if you want!”