My writing journey has recently begun and what an enriching journey it has been so far.
Some time ago I decided to enter a writing competition, set by the NZ Christian Writers Association. The criteria for the entry included the following:
‘Write a story similar to an Aesop’s fable on the topic of ‘Daring to be Different’.Your story must contain only two characters who can be either animals or people. The moral of your story should also be based on Christian principles and be clearly conveyed to your reader in the final sentence.’
I was excited by this writing opportunity, so embarked on considering what my fable might be about. I tossed ideas about, discussed them with my husband and children, and read a few Aesop’s fables.
No ideas came to mind.
Unfortunately, we had the very sad news of a friend in Auckland passing away suddenly. This was tragic news and deeply impacted our young children who loved our friend very much.
It was during our watching of his funeral service online, that God suddenly dropped the idea for the fable into my heart and mind.
Our friend was always very cheerful, seeing the best in everybody. He was also heavily involved with the Lion’s Association, hence the Lion King theme music played during his funeral.
I have also been deeply saddened by what the church has faced globally regarding COVID. There has been so much hatred and judgment over topics such as mask-wearing and vaccinations.
I believed God was leading me to write a children’s story about His love for us and how this can be demonstrated through one another.
And I wanted to dedicate this story to Trevor, our cheerful lion, who will now be roaring with laughter in the heavenlies.
I hope to one day publish this as a proper book!
The Lion and the Porcupine
Every day the lion and the porcupine went for a walk together. On their walk they talked about many things – their homes, families, and friends.
One hot day they sat under an acacia tree on a hill. From their viewpoint they could see many animals far away. They carried on their conversation while looking at them down below.
“Look at those flamingos,” the porcupine said, “They think they’re so pretty with their pink feathers. They want everybody to notice them and think they’re beautiful. Well, they’re not.”
The lion smiled cheerfully at the porcupine and replied, “Flamingos are phenomenal. Did you know that a group of flamingos is called a flamboyance? They grow so tall and fly so fast and live for a very long time. What amazing creatures they are.”
The porcupine grumbled under his breath, then turned to watch the hyenas. “Can you see the hyenas? They are weird and have a terrible laugh. They laugh when there is nothing funny at all.”
The lion chuckled cheekily. “Hyenas are hilarious. Laughter is the best medicine. They whoop and yell and cackle. Did you know the sounds they make can be heard so far away? What fabulous creatures they are.”
The porcupine sighed and nodded his pointy nose towards some stink bugs nearby. “Those stink bugs are dreadful to be near,” the porcupine retorted, “Their smell is so terrible, I can’t stand being near those nasty things.”
The lion grinned gleefully. “Stink bugs are stupendous. Did you know that they come in all sorts of colours and patterns? They can provide quite the show! Stink bugs will use different smells for different reasons. What incredible creatures they are.”
The porcupine rolled his eyes and then noticed the elephants. “The elephant’s skin is so wrinkly and hairy,” whined the porcupine, “it feels disgusting, and I don’t want to go anywhere near them.”
The lion laughed loudly. “Elephants are elephantine! An elephant never forgets. Did you know they spend more than half the day eating? Which means of course they poo a lot, but that’s so good for the land. What marvelous creatures they are.”
The porcupine pondered on what he had heard. He frowned at the lion. “What do you think about me?” The lion gently replied, “I see a most magnificent creature, perfectly and wonderfully made.”
Where there is hatred, love one another. Dare to be different with love.
This story is dedicated to Trevor Armstrong, who was always our cheerful lion. Sadly, missed by our children, Abigail and Ethan.
Fiona Murray has a passion for telling stories, both real and fictional, to engage the reader in the greatest hope of all, Jesus Christ. She has been a primary school teacher, teacher aide, personnel administrator for a mission organization and financial assistant for a community trust, all of which has grown her love for detail and creativity. Fiona is also undertaking further theology study to enhance her writing. She is married to Alan, and they live in Selwyn, Canterbury (NZ) with their children.