|The Cave Monster|
Little Golden Book
Little Golden Books
One day in the Pride Lands, Simba, Nala, and Zazu are going for a walk. Presently they spot a mysterious cave, and Nala, much to Zazu's dismay suggests that they explore it. Simba announces that he will go first, on account of his royal status, but Nala insists that she is braver than he.
After a brief scuffle, Simba ventures inside the cave only to find two bright eyes shining from the back of it. The unidentified creature asks in a thundering voice who dares to disturb him, and Simba introduces himself as the fearless future lion king. The voice retorts that it is the ruler of the forest - as big as the sky and fierce as a storm. It adds that it eats twenty elephants just for breakfast. At this, a frightened Zazu goes to fetch Mufasa, but the loud voice mocks the bird, claiming to resolve to tie a knot in the king's tail. Simba wonders what monster was so powerful that it would not fear the great lion king.
Frightened, the lion cub returns to the entrance of the cave, where Nala resolves to see the monster with her own eyes. Shortly after entering, however, Nala lets out a loud scream, prompting Simba to run in after his friend. Simba finds Nala against the wall of the cave, whimpering. The cubs then realize that even Nala sounds like thunder because of the cave's echo.
Suddenly, a tiny spider steps into the light. Startled, Simba asks the spider if it is the monster. The spider meekly introduces himself as Anansi, and says that he was only trying to defend himself. Just then, the trio hear a roar from outside and Simba realizes that Zazu must have returned with Mufasa. Sure enough, Mufasa's voice thunders into the cave as the lion king challenges the monster to reveal itself. Simba and Nala emerge from the cave, shortly followed by a timid Anansi, who admits that it was Zazu he feared, not Mufasa. The lion king questions if this tiny spider is the monster who eats twenty elephants for breakfast, and Simba and Nala burst out laughing. The two cubs then relate their tale to Mufasa, explaining that they were trying to see who of the two was braver, and Zazu and Anansi chime in as well. Presently Mufasa halts the four animals and turns away, chuckling that long stories scare him more than anything else. As the animals prepare to leave, Zazu comments that everyone, even the lion king, has their fears.