Children's Chapter Books

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Courage 2

Do you remember the lion in The Wizard of Oz? What did he ask the wizard for? He asked for courage. Courage is being fearless, brave, daring, and bold.  When I think of lions I think of fierce, strong, bold and courageous. I would love to hug one but would be too afraid. Have you seen their teeth?

In Africa there is a lion family. A family of lions is called a pride. In our story we will concentrate on three of the lions: the dad Bomani, pronounced Bo MAH nee which means warrior, a mom Desta, pronounced DEH stah which means happiness, and a cub named Akin, pronounced ah Keen meaning brave boy.

The three of them were so happy when Akin was born. He was so cute and cuddly. He purred often and snuggled with his parents whenever they were near.  In fact, he was never far from them. At first they thought he was just an affectionate cub but the truth came out one rainy day.

The day started like any other day except cloudy. Soon, the rain started. Akin enjoyed the light rain until it got worse. Lightening followed by a crash of thunder and he almost jumped out of his skin! He scraped and crawled under his mom. He surprised her by his behavior and she jumped up. He mewed and scurried under her again. She rubbed her head against him and licked him trying to calm him down. She realized he was shaking. Both Bomani and Desta tried to make him understand about thunder. “The thunder and lightening won’t hurt you.” They told him but he wouldn’t stop trembling.

From that day on he showed signs of being fearful of the smallest things. If both Bomani and Desta were gone, Akin hid deep in the den. After a hunt for food, Desta searched and finally found Akin hiding. She carried him to the kill so he could eat. This happened many times. If he was not right beside her or his dad, he was hiding. They didn’t know what to do about him. How would he ever survive on his own?
Early one morning before dawn, Desta went on a search for food. Her hunts normally lasted a few hours. When the sun was just cresting the horizon, Akin peeked out of his den thinking his dad would be asleep right outside. He was not there. His mom should have returned by now. Where could they be?

He timidly crept out of the den. Seeing no sign of them, he began to get worried. After waiting what seemed a long time, his worry overcame his fear and he ventured out.

He saw his dad’s foot prints in the dew covered grass and followed them.  These led to the edge of a ravine where the ground had broken off. Akin cocked his head wondering why the foot prints stopped there so abruptly.

He hadn’t learned how to roar, so the sound that came from him was a plaintive cry, a cross between a growl and a loud meow. He thought he heard an answer coming from below. He got down on his stomach and crawled forward trying not to slide off the edge on the loose dirt. Peering over he again, he meowed this time louder. He heard a reply that sounded sort of like his dad. He backed up and walked carefully along the edge until he found a safer way down. He slowly descended angling back to where he thought the reply came from. Under a pile of rocks he found his dad. “Dad! Are you alright? What happened? Get up!”

His dad's voice was slightly above a whisper. “Son, I’m glad you came. I’m alright- just stuck and shaken.”

 “What can I do to help?”

“I don’t think you are strong enough to move theses big rocks and they might crash down on you.”

“Dad you sound terrible. Have you been here long?”

“I came right after sun up. That’s when the ground gave way and I’ve been stuck here since. I roared for help until my throat became too dry. I’m glad you heard me.”

“Mom’s not back yet, but I've an idea.”  Akin climbed down into the ravine to the stream below. He got a drink. After he quenched his thirst, he filled his mouth with the cool water. Without swallowing, he carefully climbed up to his father. Akin got right up against his dad’s mouth and emptied the water he was holding. His dad was surprised by the water, but grateful. Akin went back two more times for more water.

“I’m going to go find Mom. She will know what to do.”

He found her dragging a zebra to their eating area. “Dad is stuck under some rocks. We gotta get him out! Come on!’

He ran back to the top of the ravine with his mom right behind him. She said, “Be careful son that looks dangerous.”

“It is. That’s where dad fell. Come this way and we can climb down. I’ve already been down to him.”

She followed him to where Bomani was. She licked Bomani and then climbed further up and pushed the largest rock. The rock barely moved. Akin climbed up and helped. Little by little the rock slid. They pushed until Bomani was able to get his feet under him. With a mighty shove, the rock slid down the ravine crashing into the water below.

“Yippee!” shouted Akin.

The three snuggled for a minute then Akin led the way up out of the ravine. Back at the den after gorging on the zebra, Bomani said, “Akin, I am very proud of you. It took great courage to do what you did. You climbed down a steep and dangerous cliff and did it many times. Desta, you should have seen him. He took danger in stride and climbed down to the bottom and got me a drink of water. He figured that out all by himself too. Three times he went for water until I was able to clear my mouth of dirt and speak.”

Akin was beaming as he bathed in the praise of his dad. Akin learned not to be fearful of things. Everyday his courage grew until he became a courageous lion. When he grew up he was a great leader of his own pride.

God wants you to be courageous, not fearful. Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
Psalm 31:24 Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Joshua 1:6 Be strong and of good courage… Joshua 10:25Then Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage…”

Memorize: Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated.

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