Based on Aesop’s tale, ‘The Lion and the Mouse’
Sub-themes: Build others up, not down; You never know who will help you!
Lectionary: written for Proper 15 (usually 11th Sunday after Pentecost), Year A
I have something in my bag. They will help me tell a story. (Take all pictures out of bag and put face down on lap. Note: I use the same bag, a flowered African bag, every Sunday, so the children have learned to expect something to come out of the bag.)
Picture 1: (map of African continent)
At night some small animals are awake and come out.
Here’s one of the smallest animals…. [turn over picture 3]
Picture 3: (mouse)
What is it? [mouse] They say a mouse likes cheese.
Mice like to nibble. This little mouse finds a rope across the path, at least the mouse thinks it’s a rope. She nibbles on the rope.
What happens?… [turn over picture 4]
Picture 4: (Angry lion and paw on mouse)
The lion awakens. “Ow!” he roars!
Quick as a cat, the lion catches the mouse.
“Please,” cries the mouse. “Let me go. And someday I will help you!”
The lion says, “You are so small. How could you ever help me?”
The lion laughs so hard he holds his tummy, and the mouse…runs away!
A few days later, two hunters come to the jungle. They set a big rope snare.
As the lion walks, he steps into the snare, trapped! …
[turn over picture 5]
Picture 5: (lion in snare)
The lion roars! He weeps! But he cannot escape.
Far away, the mouse hears a faint howling. “What’s that noise? Could it be that lion?” she wonders. She hurries through the jungle following the sound.
The mouse finds the lion tangled in the trap. She sees how the ropes hold him tight.
What do mice like to do? Yes, mice like to chew!
Picture 6: (lion and mouse together) — Apologies, the artwork is missing. You could create your own or have the children create the image by drawing or using cut-out animal shapes.
With her sharp little teeth the mouse nibbles until the main rope breaks. The lion shakes off the other ropes that hold him. The lion stands free again! The lion turns to the mouse and says, “Little mouse, I was foolish to ridicule you for being small. You helped me in a BIG way and saved my life!
You are never too small to help others. And others are never too small to help you.
Pray with me.
God, you give each of us gifts. No gift is too small or unimportant to be of use to you and to use to help others. May we encourage one another, and especially people who are younger or smaller than us, to find and use their gifts. Amen.