By Margo Wayman
Latif the lion lay around in the jungle all day and night. You could say that he was the laziest lion in the pride. He would hardly make the effort to swat the flies away from his face with his long tail.
One day, as Latif lay basking in the sunshine, he noticed a bright, electric blue butterfly. He watched as it landed on a nearby leaf. He thought it was very colorful and pretty. He lifted his head just enough to look at his fur. Hed never noticed how dull his coat was before. He watched the butterfly as it fluttered around, then followed it with his eyes as it flew off into the dense jungle.
A little while later, as he was still lazily resting, Latif heard some squawking sounds overhead. He rolled a little bit onto his side and glanced up into the branches that spread out from the tree above him. There sat two colorful parrots, talking away to each other. Latif noticed that one of them was a shiny, emerald green color, with red, blue, and yellow on its neck and wings. The other parrot was sunset red, with green, yellow, and purple on its neck and wings. He thought they looked very pretty.
Again, without making much of an effort, he raised his head and looked at his dull brown fur. He began to wish that he were a little bit more colorful. He looked at his legs, his paws, and his tail. He seemed to be that dull brown color all over his body. But, soon he fell asleep, not seeming to worry about it anymore.
A while later he was awakened because something was tickling his nose. He opened one of his eyes for a peek. It was another butterfly, but this one was brilliant orange, with sunshine yellow spots on it. It fluttered above his head then began to fly off. Latif couldnt believe how beautiful this butterfly was.
He mustered up enough energy to stand, then slowly plodded through the jungle, chasing after the butterfly. Before long he found himself in a clearing. He stopped and stared at the sight before him. It was a field of color. Flowers of every size, shape, and color were growing in the clearing. There were red flowers, orange flowers, yellow ones, blue ones, purple, white, and even spotted ones. Latifs eyes were drawn to the pink flowers. All around their large petals flew hundreds of orange butterflies with yellow spots. Latif lay down in the grass and watched them fly from flower to flower.
One flew right up to him and landed on his mane. He really was a dull color. He decided right then that he was tired of being brown. He wanted to be beautiful and colorful like everything else in the jungle.
He stood up and walked over to the pink flowers. He picked an armful of them and took them back to his den. He mashed them up on a rock, then rubbed the petals all over his mane. After a long time of doing this, his mane was pink. It wasnt as pink as the flowers, but it was still bright pink.
The first thing Latif did was walk proudly over to the water hole to see his reflection in it. He thought he looked much better with his new pink mane. He looked around at some of the other lions. They were all pointing at him, and laughing, but he knew that they were just jealous of him. He thought they were a very boring brown. He turned up his nose and went back to his den.
As the sun rose the next morning, Latif woke up. He found himself covered in black ants. They were crawling all through his mane. He jumped up and brushed them all off, but he had to scratch himself for hours because they had bitten him.
No sooner had he rid himself of the ants, when a swarm of flies appeared and began to buzz near his face. There seemed to be a lot more flies than usual. All day long he was pestered by the flies. A few bees buzzed around him, and even the beautiful butterflies fluttered about him without end. Birds would fly by and try to pull pieces of the pink hair in his mane out, to use to line their nests.
Finally, Latif stood up and shook his body. He let out a loud ear-piercing roar, and swatted at all the insects and birds, until they flew away. Since he was standing up, he decided that he was hungry. He looked around. There was a deer, leaping through the jungle. He walked towards it. He finally came near enough to pounce, but watched it for a minute as it nibbled on the tender leaves of a vine. He crept closer, very slowly. He was just about to attack when the deer turned around. It had seen Latifs bright pink mane. It quickly darted off, leaping high in the air as it ran through the jungle, and had soon escaped to safety. The same thing happened when Latif stalked a zebra, and a warthog.
He was very hungry. He stopped off at the watering hole for another drink and looked once more at his reflection. He looked very colorful, and very pretty. He grinned at himself. Then he realized that this bright pink mane was warning his prey that he was nearby. He was just too hungry for this anymore. He jumped into the pool of refreshing water, and washed all of the pink color out.
Once again he was dull, drab, and boring, but at least that night he didnt go to bed hungry.
Last Updated: June 26th, 2011