Who doesn`t like strawberries? It seems that lions like them too. And which Israeli child doesn`t know Tirtza Atar`s famous humoristic story, The Lion that Loved Strawberries? An awful lot know it off by heart.
The story is about a lion cub that only liked strawberries, and didn`t want to eat anything else. But in the forest where he lived there weren`t any, so he sat and cried and asked for strawberries. His mother, the lioness, tried to tempt him with all kinds of tasty dishes, but nothing helped. And then one day, some children went for a walk in the forest and they had strawberries in their backpacks, because there were lots of strawberries where they lived. The lion cub smelt the strawberries, came over to the children and asked for some. The children didn`t understand lion language - they thought that he wanted to eat them, so they ran away, leaving their food behind. The lion cub picked up the bags and started to eat the strawberries. He ate and ate and ate until he`d eaten them all up, and when he`d finished he said: "Phooey, I don`t like strawberries at all. I made a mistake." Since then the lion cub only eats what his mother makes, he doesn`t ask for what she hasn`t got, and he doesn`t cry or act up. The moral of the story is clear, and it`s part of every child and parent’s experience.
And what happened to the children in the story? Well, they went home hungry and when their mothers asked what they`d like to eat, they all answered with a word that`s not hard to guess: "Strawberries!"
Illustrations: Dani Kerman
ENGLISH TRANSLATION AVAILABLE (for publishers only).