I hadn’t read this story before but I really enjoyed reading it. I love a good story about friendship and that’s what I got!
It centres around Androcles who was a Roman slave that belonged to a very harsh master. He worked hard, but he was treated awfully. He had to sleep on the floor and eat out of the dog’s bowl. One night, after a severe beating, Androcles decided to flee. He ended up in a cave and lay down to rest. Unbeknown to Androcles, he was around a lion. The lion growled at him, but didn’t leap to devour him. Instead the lion limped and lay down. Androcles was a good person and couldn’t see any creature suffer. He carefully studied the lion’s paw and then took out a thorn that was embedded within its paw. The lion gratefully licked Androcles.
A few days later, the master’s men were riding by. They saw Androcles and took him off to prison. Androcles was told that runaways went into the emperor’s arena. A week later, he was taken into the arena. There was nowhere to hide. Androcles heard a ferocious roar. He closed his eyes and waited to be attacked. However, he felt two paws land on his shoulders and a tongue licking his face. It was the lion! Androcles greeted his old friend.
When the emperor heard Androcles’s story, he told him that he had earned his freedom by his kindness. He was told to take the lion back to the mountains where he belonged.
An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)