Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: PRIDE (inflated opinion of one’s self) (02/19/15)
TITLE: Emileo's Roar
By Diane M. Bowman
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Emileo was very proud of his mouthful of sharp teeth, his broad, strong body, and his huge intimidating mane. But most of all, he was proud of his roar.
It made him feel quite important, as though he truly was the king of the jungle. Not only did he like the sound, but he also thoroughly enjoyed watching man and beast alike flee in fear.
It really was silly; after all, a roar never hurt anyone. Why did they run away from it, anyway? But run they did and Emileo couldn't be happier to watch them.
He could roar longer and louder than any of other lions that lived nearby were able to. He roared to claim his territory. He roared to scare off other lions. He even roared just to listen to his roar.
Far too arrogant to be part of a pride, he lived alone, a nomadic lion. With a roar like his, why would he ever need another lion's help?
Really, none of the other lions wanted them in their group anyway. As a young lion, he'd thought it hilarious to wake up everyone he could with a full-fledged roar, right in their face. Then he bragged and bragged and bragged about how funny it was. He made fun of their roars, claiming his was better.
He never bothered to be kind to anyone, especially his little brother, Shambhu.
One evening, Emileo woke from his nap, stretched, and tried to roar. We'll never know why it happened, maybe he had a cold, or maybe something was stuck in his throat, but the only sound that came out of his mouth was a small meow.
He tried again. <i>Meow. Meow. Meow?</i>
Try as he might, nothing more powerful than a house cat's meow would come from his throat. In fact, he sounded more like a kitten than a full grown cat.
His roar had been his only defense and Emileo had no idea how to protect himself without it. He'd never even learned to hunt properly. Why work so hard running after something to eat when it only took a little roar to make it die of fright?
He found a dense bush and curled up under it, hoping to hide for the night. Maybe if he slept, his roar would come back. About two o'clock in the morning he woke to the sound of another lion approaching.
He sat up, and left out a loud, long... <i>meow</i>. What!? He still didn't have his roar back.
For the first time in Emileo's life, he was scared.
Unfortunately for him, the other lion heard the meow and came to investigate.
"Emileo, did you meow?" Shambhu asked in disbelief.
Now, if that had been your brother or sister who'd found you out alone in the dark, you would have been very happy, but Emileo knew all the ornery things he had done to Shambhu when they were cubs. He knew it would serve him right if Shambhu paid him back for everything.
<i>What will he do to me now that I've lost my roar? </i> Emileo shrunk back in fear, but denying his predicament wouldn't help either. "Yes, I've lost my roar."
Shambhu looked at him in pity and said, "Come with me. I'll roar for you. Isn't that what brothers are for?"
The proud Emileo looked at his brother in awe. When did he become so kind?
Shambhu roared and the two ran off, side by side.
Over the next few months, Emileo learned many things. He learned to hunt the proper way - quietly, with stealth. Shambhu taught him how to get along with the lions in the nearby pride. But the most impressive thing he learned from his brother was how to be humble and compassionate.
Again, we'll never know why it happened but one fall day, Emileo awoke, stretched, and without thinking, tried to roar.
<i>ROOOOAAAAAR! ROOOOAAAAAR! ROOOOAAAAAR! Roar! Roar! Roar!</i>
It was louder and stronger than it ever had been before.
He had his roar back but now Emileo was a different lion. He stayed with Shambhu and never again decided to be nomadic. In fact, even though he could, he rarely ever roared. He didn't need to.
He'd found out from watching Shambhu that it's often the quietest who are the strongest. Only weaklings need to brag.
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