An Old Lion's Roar
by Sara Genge
Rabbit sat in the shade, scratching his ear with his hind paw. A strand of grass was stuck between the gears of his head, and it tickled mightily.
In the distance, he heard He Lion roar. Mechanical birds screeched and whirred to safety. Possum played dead, although it should have known by now that its tick-tack gave it away. Even Bear lumbered away. But Rabbit didn't move. It was getting too old for He Lion's roaring. It was getting too old to play the same games over and over again. It was getting too old to hop all over the place. Besides, the straw in his ear itched. So Rabbit stayed put and listened to the roaring coming closer.
"Me and Myself! Me and Myself," roared He Lion when he saw Rabbit.
Rabbit scratched his ear.
"Me and Myself, I said," said He Lion.
"Yes, I did hear you. I may be old, but I'm not yet deaf."
He Lion snorted and shook his whitened mane. It wasn't just Rabbit who'd gotten old.
"Well, aren't you going to run away?" said He Lion.
Rabbit considered this carefully. He Lion might need his gears oiled and wound more than he needed to eat Rabbit, but he still might crush Rabbit with his foot, just for the fun of it. Rabbit and He Lion went back a long way, but the lion was a stickler for authority.
In the old days, whenever Lion got in a funk like this, Rabbit would trick him into meeting Man. Man always knew how to take care of Lion, what with his guns and all and then Lion would behave for a while. But Rabbit was tired and Lion was old and Man was quite possibly dead by now. Man was the most literal of all the fabled clockwork creatures of the jungle and, as such, one couldn't expect much from him and certainly not infinite survival.
"Can't run," Rabbit said. "Got something in my ear."
Lion clambered up to Rabbit and sat down, realizing he wasn't going to get much fun out of the hare today.
"Hmm," growled Lion, "That sucks." Lion turned to face the sun, eyes half mast and lay down. He always did like to bask.