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Leo

The landscape is lush limestone country, with low grey white walls watching meadowland, moor and flower filled pastures. Just below the crest of the moor hillside settles the village, a warm south facing huddle, and a river winding its way at the foot of the slope. The fields are good places to roam on warm summer days.

One mother from the village often took her children onto the grassy fields to romp and play. The boys and girls enjoyed finding their skills at jumping, playing tag and chasing each other in the rough and tumble games that stretch young muscles.

One dewy morning, the mother took the children early into the fields. The grass and herbs were all fragrant with flowers opening in the wakening sun. Small birds flitted amongst the leaves and branches. For a few moments they ceased from their games to rest and talk, when suddenly, the youngest of the family, named Little Leo, espied something, called out and pointed to the brow of the hill.

Merging with the horizon, stretched along the skyline, high on the hilltop, where the land met the universe, lay a magnificent shining creature. And as they looked they perceived a noble head with flowing mane covering a powerful neck. It rested on the area known as Ditch Cliff. And on the head sat a golden crown, sparkling with stars of red and gold. The body was strong and sleek, orange and gold, shining in the rising sun’s beams. A long supple yellow and gold tail spread out behind the sturdy rear legs. The tip of the tail curled around the mound called Grind Low.

The mother turned her gaze to where the children stared, then to the amazement of the fondlings, the mother called commandingly, ‘Leo, come here!’ ‘Mother!’ cried the astonished children, frightened that she should speak to such a magnificent beast so bravely. But, the regal creature gradually stretched, eased itself up, and, whilst the children gazed in admiration, silently and steadily drew near to them.

Leo, the King, for surely he was of noble demeanour, stood before them, the crown glowing on his proud head. He looked at them in a kindly manner. ‘Good day, little ones,’ he murmured to the trembling sons and daughters. A deep, yet gentle, voice. He smiled at their wise mother, nodded again to the uneasy anxious group of children then strode off across the hillside.

In answer to the clamouring questions that echoed behind the departing figure, the caring mother confirmed, ‘That is your Father.’

Little Leo, the youngest returned his gaze to the skyline. How he wished he could stretch himself across the horizon as his father, the king, did.

The little children (or should we now call them princes and princesses?) played a short while longer before retuning home for refreshments and an afternoon nap. In the youngest’s dreams there arose a small rounded hillside. As he looked upwards to the mound on the top he beheld a lady of great beauty. She smiled warmly at him and in a graceful gesture held out her hand. In his sleep he took it, and then bewildered, found himself rising into the air, looking down on the silent figures of the lady and he still standing on the mound.

The radiant evening sun, setting in the west, brought a stillness and calm glow to the green dream land, full of flowers. The prince watched his small figure on the hillside cast a shadow across the land, merging with the horizon where the earth met the sky, just as the king had done in the morning light. The lower the sun fell in the sky, the longer the shadow grew. It stretched over the stones and the green fields all the way along the horizon, from the mound of Grind Low to Ditch Cliff.

And in his reverie, Little Leo, the kitten, smiled.

Page last updated: 13th Jan 2011