lenny the lion

Author Details

Shivani Chotai

Name: Dr Shivani Chotai

Job Title: Clinical Psychologist

Current place of work: The Child Psychology Service

Lenny the Lion

This is the story of a ferocious lion who is now learning to be brave like a cub.

Lenny the Lion is on an adventure of a lifetime to be brave like a cub. He has always been courageous and clever but needs a helping hand to unlock his heart in new ways. Lenny used to be brave like a spiky hedgehog and powerful like a venomous snake, keeping big bears and little critters away. Lenny the Lion was brave like a smart squirrel and as tough as turtle making sure no one could get into his hard shell.

One winter day, Lenny the Lion went on a very important mission. Lenny set out to explore new territory in the hope of finding himself some food and shelter. Lenny hadn’t eaten for four days and he was very, very hungry. Lenny was also very cold and was not like other lions who lived in prides, Lenny was a lone ranger. He couldn’t trust others to look after him, in fact, others had been so unkind to him previously he felt safest on his own.

Upon his venture, Lenny the Lion found himself in an unfamiliar place and felt a tidal wave of worry taking over his body. You could see his eyes go really wide, scanning everything around him! You see, Lenny’s brain is really clever in quickly working out what could hurt him, who is going to be nasty, making sure he is safe and able to survive the wilderness. Lenny makes his body so big by arching his back, he does this so critters know not to mess with him, it’s the only way Lenny knows how. “These pesky critters, they are trying to get me” he thought “but I am the bravest and strongest lion known in the land”, he yelled convincingly. His claws extend, ready to pounce on anything that startles him!

Seconds later a fuzzy bear approaches Lenny… “AHHHH, GET OUT OF MY WAY” Lenny roars. “I’m sorry Lenny, I didn’t mean to startle you” fuzzy bear replies. Lenny circles around the fuzzy bear, looking him up and down, the fuzzy bear was bigger than him, he had dark fur and exposed claws, he was strong and had big muscles, a great strength for digging and running fast. Lenny gulped. “A part of me wonders if you’re feeling a little scared Lenny? That would make a lot of sense to me, big lions often have to work so hard to make sure they are safe”. Fuzzy bear could see that Lenny was not well cared for. Fuzzy bear knew it didn’t sound like much to wonder what Lenny was feeling but Lenny was not always allowed to feel certain ways so it was a really big deal for him, even though he was unable to admit it!

Fuzzy bear knew that Lenny was not quite ready for a hug, so he let Lenny sniff him and circle around him a few more times. Meanwhile, fuzzy bear listed all the things he fancied for dinner “Hmmm… I’m feeling rather peckish! I have lots of delicious food in my fridge but I’m not sure what to make! It would be super if you could help me decide, sometimes it can be a real pain cooking for one, you would be doing be a big favour if you could eat with me, what do you reckon?”

Suddenly Lenny saw the fuzzy bear’s small, gentle eyes and rounded ears. Lenny was silenced but was able to nod gently as his belly rumbled, excited by the thought of a delicious lasagne. Lenny has spent all of his life being brave and strong like a big lion should be but now, now he’s learning to be brave like a cub. He’s learning to accept help and learning which critters are safe to be around without being prickly like a hedgehog, he’s learning how to use his words to tell others how he feels, especially when his feelings get really, really big and the bravest thing of all… Lenny is learning to ask for help, instead of clawing at others in attack mode or curling up in his shell like a tortoise. He is letting the right big critters into his heart instead of keeping them out.


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