Pretty sure I have the right prompt today. If I haven’t, enjoy this little tale anyway.
‘All you had to do, Lion, was growl.’ Dotty bent over Lion, slumped on the bed. Behind her, scattered toys and books remained as relics of the battle she’d had to conduct all on her own.
‘You’re a big coward, Lion.’ Dotty screwed up her face and glared with slitted eyes, arms folded across her chest. ‘How could you leave me to face that … that …alone.’ She couldn’t bring herself to say the word. Instead she shuddered, like she’d seen her mother shudder when faced with the same eight-legged horror.
Lion’s head stuck to his chest. In shame, Dotty hoped. But shame wasn’t enough.
‘It’s not the first time, is it now, Lion?’ She unfolded her arms to wag a stubby, crayon-streaked finger at him. ‘There was the time the Boy came and wouldn’t play properly, and did you stick up for me then?’ She huffed, like Mother huffed.
‘Nothing to say?’ Dotty poked Lion in the shoulder. Slowly, his great body fell forward, whiskers plunging into the flowered quilt.
‘Well then, it’s time you learned what lions are supposed to do.’ Dotty grabbed the shamefaced Lion by the arm and dragged him from the bed. He was nearly as big as she was, bulky and awkward. She wriggled him into place behind her, and hauled him down the hall, through the front door and out onto the track which ran past the farmhouse.
‘Come on, Lion.’ Dotty began her march up the sand-yellow track. ‘I know where we can get you some courage.’ She hoisted him up briefly, let him fall again, and strode on. ‘We just have to find a wizard.’
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