Max covered his eyes, at a loss as to what to do! He sat alone out on the hill. At least it was peaceful out here, away from his wife growling at him.
She was in a mood today and the little ones knew to be on their best behavior around her. They wanted to follow Max when he left, but he needed peace and quiet to help him think.
Now that he had been out here for an hour already he was giving up hope of the peace and quiet helping him.
He was supposed to be hunting, thats what Harriet had thought he was doing. She would be even more disgruntled if he came back with nothing.
Max couldn’t concentrate though. His older son had been gone for over a week now and no one knew where he was. Harriet was so worried and Max felt guilty. Had Claude left because of Max?
He had only been trying to help Claude gain some courage. The other lions were talking and Max knew that Claude was getting a bad reputation.
It made Max angry the things they were saying, but he was ashamed to admit that there was truth in their words.
Claude was more scared than the other lions and Max didn’t understand why. They called him Claude the cowardly lion. They didn’t say it in front of Max though. The ones who had, suffered the fate of feeling the power of Max’s paw and claws!
The night before Claude disappeared Max had given him a lecture about being brave. Now he realized that he probably should have been more gentle with him.
“Dad! Dad! Come quick!”
Max turned to see his 2 cubs running towards him. His heart started to pound. Now what had happened! Things were bad enough, they didn’t need anything else to go wrong!
Panting hard Leo made it to Max first. Leona, his sister, was right on his heels. Leo turned around to his sister, sticking out his tongue.
“I won, I beat you!’
Leona took her paw and swatted Leo and then she pounced on him. Max shook his head, Leona may be smaller, but she was feisty. This wasn’t the first time she had pinned her brother down.
“Leona get off your brother! Why are you guys here? What happened?”
“Claude is home!” they sais in unison.
A load fell off Max’s chest. His son was home!
“Well what are we waiting for, lets go!” Max said and they all took off running. This time Leona was ahead of Leo.
As they got closer to home Max saw a crowd gathered and his son was in the middle. Harriet was standing beside him and she looked happier than she had in a long time!
They were celebrating into the night. Max was full of pride for his son. What a story he had told. What an adventure! Most importantly no one dared to call him the cowardly lion anymore. Not after what he had been through.
Leo and Leona looked at him with admiration in their eyes. “Tell us again. How scary was the wicked witch?”
Claude stood on his hind legs and roared as Leo and Leona held on to each other. Then Claude began his story once again, of his adventure on the yellow brick road.