you,' the lion said when he had finished.
Hari felt the blood
rush into his head, and he whispered, 'Thank
The lion looked at
him benignly. 'Well,' he asked, 'are
you prepared to stay?'
dropped open. He had hoped the lion would let him stay for a little
while longer a half hour or so, but that was all he had planned on.
should be back, I guess, before noon,' he said.
Rams' Club meets today and and well, my mother will be worrying.'
forget all that!' the lion roared. 'You
are a lion! Stay away from sheep.'
sir, they are my people,' Hari bleated. 'They
for?' the lion asked.
I make them laugh and feel happy and-and-its my place. It is my
duty,' he added brightly.
The lion curled his
lip. 'Very well,' he said coldly, 'go
back to them. But do not expect to see me again.' And he
looked away as though it were no concern of his at all.
Hari fell silent
and did not move. He knew in the depths of his being that he would
never again leave the lion, though it seemed an impossible thing for
a sheep to even consider. His life with the flock with all its
security and comfort passed through his mind; and once again he saw
the incongruous and pathetic picture of a small sheep in the strange
and terrifying forest. But the first picture was without Lion; and
the second was with Lion. And Lion was the Something he had always