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The Lion and the Buffalos

Published February 22, 2008
Countries: None
Age Levels: 7-8 and up

Lion was hungry.  He roared as he walked towards three large buffalos that were grazing in the field.  “You will be my dinner,” Lion said.  And he puffed himself up big to roar again.

But, instead of running in fear, the buffalos backed up and stood with their tails together and bellowed back.  “Come and try to eat us,” the large animals called back to the lion.

The lion tried to come close but was tossed back as the sharp poke of one buffalo’s horns stabbed at him.  The lion growled and tried to attack the buffalos from another direction.  He was again chased away by the buffalos.  They worked together and protected each other.

Finally, the lion limped away, still hungry and very sore.

He walked to the river to bathe his wounds in the cool water and mud by the river’s edge.  As he lay beside the river on the bank, the three buffalos came to the river to drink.

Lion spoke softly to the one closest to him.  “You are very strong,” said lion.  I have never seen a buffalo as powerful as you.  I don’t know why you stay with such weak friends.  Everyone thinks that they are more powerful than you and that you are afraid to go off by yourself.

The buffalo looked at his reflection in the water.  It looked big.  He looked at his two friends who were standing farther away.  Lion was right.  They looked smaller than him.  The buffalo moved a little further away from his friends.  He did not need them to protect him.

The lion left the spot where he was laying and soon reappeared by the buffalo on the far side of the group.  “Oh my,” said the Lion.  “You certainly are more powerful than your friends.  No wonder they stay close to you.  You protect them both.  They would be nothing without you nearby.  I don’t know why you stay with such puny and weak animals.  This buffalo also looked at his reflection in the water.  He did look larger than his friends.  He didn’t need them to help him.  And he also moved farther away from his friends.

As the day went on, the former friends moved farther and farther away from each other.  The lion’s smooth words were more deadly than his growl.  When each was out of sight of the others, the lion and his friends ate all three. 

Their true strength had really been their ability to work together as a team.  None was strong enough to survive on its own.  


Dr. Mike Lockett is an educator, storyteller and children's author from Normal, IL. Dr. Lockett has given more than 4000 programs across the USA and as far away as eastern Asia. Contact Mike by writing to in order to book him for a storytelling program or young authors program or to inquire about purchasing his books and CDs. More stories and information about storytelling can be found at