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Just for Kids / Noises in the Night


By Margo Wayman

 

 


"ROAR!" Yazid, the amber colored lion snarled. "Im thirsty. Lets go down to the river and get a drink," he suggest to the other lion, Jemal.

 

Both lions were lying down in their cave. Yazid stood up, and stretched his sinewy body. Jemal lay there. He yawned, and at the same time said, "You want to go to the river? But its the middle of the night. Its dark outside."

 

"Stop being such a fraidy cat. You are afraid of everything, even your own shadow. Im hot and thirsty," Yazid told him.

 

"There are scary things out there. Why dont you go and Ill just stay here. Im not thirsty," Jemal suggested.

 

"Lets go," says Yazid. "Come on."

 

Reluctantly Jemal got up. He stretched his legs, shook his wheat colored mane, yawned again, and headed out of the cave. "Its dark out here, Yazid. Theres only a little moon too," Jemal said, nervously. Yazid didnt stop. Now that they were out of the cave, he knew that Jemal would follow him. He was too big of a fraidy cat to walk back to the cave alone.

 

They walked down towards the river, through tall grass that was swaying in the gentle night breeze. They hadnt gone far when they heard a noise. "HOOT! HOOT! HOOT!"

 

"Whats that noise? Is it a monster? Yazid, Im scared," Jemal whispered, cowering right up to Yazid.

 

"HOOT! HOOT!"

 

" Its only an owl," Yazid assured his lion friend. "Look up in the sycamore tree. See? Its a bird. It wont hurt you." He pointed to the owl. "Now lets get to the river. I am so thirsty."

 

They went a little further. Jemal walked right behind Yazid, practically stepping on his tail. A locust started chirping. "CHIRP! CHIRP! CHIRP!"

 

"Whats that noise? Is it a ghost?" Jemal whined.

 

"CHIRP! CHIRP!"

 

"Its only a locust rubbing its wings together. Look over on that rock. See the bug?" Yazid pointed. "Now stop being such a fraidy cat, and lets get to the river."

 

The lions walked further on. Jemal stayed very close to Yazid, so close that he stepped on Yazids tail. Yazid let out a loud roar. "ROAR! Get off of my tail, Jemal! Dont walk so close to me," he commanded.

 

Jemal backed off just a little bit, as they walked through the tall reeds, willowing back and forth. Jemal stopped when he heard a bird squawking. "SQUAWK! SQUAWK!"

 

"Whats that noise? What is that?" he whimpered. The hair on his mane stood straight up in the air.

 

Yazid stopped. He listened. He heard the squawking. "Its only another bird. Are you afraid of everything? First it was owls, locusts, and now birds. Stop being such a fraidy cat!"

 

Yazid was tiring of Jemals nonsense. He began to run. Jemal followed, running just as fast. They got much closer to the river. The lions could hear the sound of it flowing swiftly. Jemal heard, "CROAK! CROAK!"

 

"Whats that noise? What is it this time? I think its a monster," Jemal said in terror.

 

"CROAK! CROAK!"

 

"Jemal. Its only a frog. Why are you so terrified?" Yazid asked. Jemal crept backwards towards Yazid. When he got very close, he turned around. He saw some yellowish eyes, glowing in the dark.

 

Jemal let out a screaming roar. "ROAR! Theres a monster with yellow eyes. Help!" Yazid took a few steps towards Jemal, who then saw that the eyes belonged to his friend. "Whew. Its only you, Yazid. I thought there was a monster."

 

Yazid shook his head in disgust. "Come on, were almost there," he urged, then ran down to the river bank. The two lions began to slurp up water.

 

Jemal looked all around as he drank. He saw the shadow of a date palm swaying in the gentle breeze. Just for a few seconds, he was scared. A papyrus reed brushed against his back. Jemal jumped up and gasped, but then saw the reed.

 

"Have you had enough to drink, Jemal?" Yazid asked.

 

Jemal drank, and drank, and drank. "I dont want to go back and walk through the bushes and tall grass," he complained. "What if a mummy wrapped in dirty white bandages is walking around out there? What if one of the ancient Pharaohs has come back to life and is going to haunt us? Im scared. Lets just stay here until the sun comes up, then well go back."

 

The two lions argued for hours. Yazid wanted to go back, Jemal didnt want to.

 

Finally the sun rose over the horizon. Jemal looks around in the daylight. Feeling confident, he said, "Lets go home!"

 

The two lions crept back to the cave, both dragging their tails behind them. When they got there, they both lay down and fell fast asleep, as theyd been up all night! Outside the birds squawked, and the locust chirped, and the frog croaked, and the owl hooted, and Jemal didnt hear one sound.

 

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