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DANIEL AND THE LION’S DEN
“Nice kitty-kitty”, said Daniel in a soothing voice. “Good kitty-cat.”
The lion issued a low growl and licked his lips. “Sweet talk won’t save you”, the lion said. “I’m going to eat you anyway.”
“No you aren’t, Scratch”, said the smallest lion. “You killed the last one, right Crunch?” Little Ripper looked to the biggest lion for support.
Daniel squinted in the dim light of the pit. It was past sunset, and the guard’s torches afforded little light from above. He could barely make out the forms of the three lions in front of him.
“I saw him first”, said Scratch.
“It’s my turn”, said Little Ripper.
“I’m the biggest”, said Crunch. “So what I say, goes. He’s mine.”
“Who died and made you king?” said Scratch.
“Yeah”, said Little Ripper. “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Scratch chuckled and gave Little Ripper a high-five.
“Do either of you care to test that theory?” said Crunch, his fur fluffing up to make him appear even more menacing.
Ripper thought better of it and changed his tactics. “Don’t forget that Frisky is my sister”, he said. “If you harm one piece of fur on my head, she’ll drop you like a hot potato.”
Crunch growled with displeasure and began to pace back and forth.
Scratch looked up and down at Daniel. “What did you do that got you thrown in here, anyway?” he asked the man.
“Well”, said Daniel, “the King was tricked into ordering everyone in the kingdom to stop praying for a month. I continued to pray, so I was thrown in here.”
“How sad”, said Little Ripper, licking his chops.
“But”, said Daniel, “I have done nothing wrong, and I have been faithful to God; therefore, none of you shall eat me.”
All three lions broke out in unrestrained laughter.
“That’s a good one”, said Scratch, catching his breath. “It’s almost going to be a shame to eat you.”
Daniel shrugged, unconcerned.
“Enough of this arguing”, said Crunch. “I’m hungry.”
Daniel folded his arms and shook his head. “Woe be it unto the first one to harm me”, he calmly said.
The lions backed off a bit, taken aback by Daniel’s confidence.
“Well? What are you waiting for?” Scratch said to Crunch.
“It’s your turn”, Crunch said to Little Ripper.
“You saw him first”, said Little Ripper to Scratch. “Go ahead…I’ll be right behind you”
“There’s only one fair way to settle this”, said Scratch. “Lets draw straws.”
“No!” said Crunch. “You always win at straws.”
“What are you insinuating?” said Scratch, in his very best offended voice.
“You cheat!” said Little Ripper. “Lets do ‘Eenie-Meenie-Minie-Moe’. We’ll start with you.”
“No fair, either!” said Crunch. “You always win that way.”
“Nonsense”, said Little Ripper. “How can anyone cheat?”
“I want to do ‘Paper-Scissors-Rock’ “, said Crunch.
“Humph”, snorted Scratch. “You’re not going to win anyway. Everyone knows that you always throw “Paper” the first few times.”
Crunch raised his eyebrows and resumed his pacing, lost in thought.
“Lets all get him at once”, suggested Little Ripper.
“There’s only one of me and three of you”, Daniel pointed out.
“He’s scrawny, too”, Crunch said. “He’s hardly a meal for even one of us.”
“Perhaps there will be more men thrown in soon”, said Scratch. Then we can split this one up as an appetizer.”
“I get the ribs!” Little Ripper chimed in.
“No fair!” said Crunch. “I want the ribs.”
“I saw him first”, reminded Scratch.
“But it’s my turn”, said Little Ripper.
“I’m the biggest!” roared Crunch.
Daniel settled himself comfortably, and listened to the bickering all night long. At daylight, the stone covering the pit was rolled away, and the king himself called down anxiously, “Daniel, servant of the Living God! Was the God that you serve so loyally able to save you from the lions?’
Daniel answered cheerfully, “May Your Majesty live forever! God sent His angel to shut the mouth of the lions so that they would not hurt me. He did this because He knew I was innocent, and because I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.”
The king was overjoyed, and gave orders for Daniel to be pulled up out of the pit.
“Now see what you’ve done“, said Scratch.
“Me?” said Little Ripper. “It’s not my fault you two can’t get along.”
“You saw him first”, said Crunch to Scratch.
“It was your turn”, said Scratch to Ripper.
“You’re the biggest”, said Ripper to Crunch.
Daniel wiped his brow with relief as the stone rolled back over the pit, and the bickering went on and on.