The Fat Rabbit Himself & The Lion

For the first time since I was but a wee tyke I read The Tawny Scrawny Lion, by Kathryn Jackson, an oft-reprinted classic written in 1952. I'm here to tell you that The Tawny Scrawny Lion, a book for truly young babes, is a redemptive history written in a creational seven-day structure.

Section one introduces the scrawny lion, who hunts all day, always catches what he chases, and yet is never satisfied, but grows hungrier every day. And every week is the same. Each day of the week he chases different prey (on Mondays monkeys, on Tuesday kangaroos, etc.), always catches and eats, and always starts over the cycle of death; he killing, he never being fed, but dying himself.

In section two the other beasts of the forest convince a rabbit who comes along to go talk with the lion. They tell the rabbit that he is to "talk things over" and talk about "any old thing," but their intent is simply to appease the lion for one day. The rabbit meets the lion and promises him a delicious carrot stew at his house. The lion comes along, because the rabbit mentions the fat rabbit brothers and sisters he has.

Section three is the journey itself, in which the bunny hangs out with the lion, having invited the lion to sup with him.

In the fourth section the rabbit gets fish out of a river for the stew. That is, he draws a life out of death, and kills it to make life. Or he crosses over the river. Or whatever water/death/life thing you want to do.

The fifth section is the meal. After the bunnies and the lion eat their carrot and fish stew, the lion is too full to eat the bunnies. He hangs out, hoping to get hungry again. For their part, the bunnies conclude their meal by all singing together, some climbing into the lion's lap to sing.

The lion eventually realizes that he's not going to get hungry that night, so he goes home. "When he woke up in the morning, it was Monday. " He goes through the entire week without devouring the other animals. The meal he had on Sunday keeps him fed for the entire week! That's the sixth section.

In the seventh section, on a Sunday, the animals come to rabbit to understand/know why the lion has stopped devouring the them. The lion himself comes for Sunday dinner bearing offerings. For the brother and sister bunnies, he brings fish and berries. For the "fat rabbit himself," he brings a bunch of daisies. He brings gifts that feed to the brothers and sisters, but for the "fat rabbit himself," a goodwill offering that does not pretend to feed. But the lion himself has come to feed on the soup, and on fish, and on berries.


This means, of course, that all of you need to buy The Tawny Scrawny Lion. Meanwhile I'll put my hands on The Saggy Baggy Elephant. See what that's all about.