Hubert the Lion Hunter
Once upon a time... well, actually, several times... there lived a young lad named Hubert. Now Hubert was not your ordinary lad. In fact he was a rather extraordinary one. You see, Hubert was a lion hunter. He liked to hunt lions.
One twinkling spring day young Hubert was out hunting lions with his pet vulture, Phred. The vulture was good at locating carcasses of animals. And where there was an animal carcass, there was sure to be an entire pride of lions not far away. Animal carcasses and lions just sort of go together. At least, that's how Hubert felt about it.
Hubert had all the makings of a stellar lion hunter. He had Phred, of course, but he also had the ability with a bow and arrows that would put Robin Hood to shame. Keep that in mind. Hubert didn't use any of those modern weapons, like rifles, bazookas, and syringes. He used only primitive weapons, to keep the chase exciting. The way Hubert saw it, if there wasn't any imminent danger of getting killed, it wasn't worth going hunting.
So, as I was saying, Hubert and Phred were going on a hunting excursion. Hubert was slinking through the underbrush, stealthily following Phred. Suddenly, Phred's majestic wing dipped and the giant bird plummeted toward the ground.
Hubert followed, eyes brimming with anticipation.
His anticipation was well-founded. For there, near Phred and his antelope carcass, was a huge pride of immense lions. They were apparently all lounging about after a filling meal of fresh-killed antelope. All, that is, except the dominant male. He was striding importantly about, occasionally roaring.
The lion's roar sent a tremor of excitement down Hubert's spine. That lion was bigger than any lion he had ever seen! It would be the ultimate trophy to bring home. Hubert edged closer to the pride, being careful to remain downwind.
A younger male, seemingly sick of the older male's dignity, arose in defiance. He roared an unsuppressed roar. The larger one turned to face him, fixing his unwavering gaze directly at the younger one. Though smaller, the younger one had the courage of a lion (not surprisingly). He advanced toward the older one, not dropping his own gaze.
Hubert, watching from the tall grasses he had hidden in, saw that a fight was inevitable. He had mixed feelings about this. A lion fight would be fantastic to watch. On the other hand, it would certainly be greatly detrimental to his prize specimen.
In a moment of decisive action, he strung an arrow on his bow. Then he aimed the arrow right between the eyes of the huge lion. His concentration suddenly shifted. For as he was fixedly gazing at the lion's eyes, he saw that those eyes were looking straight back at him. Another tremor went down Hubert's spine, but this time it was a tremor of fear.
The huge lion vanished into the grasses. His course of action was certain. Now the hunter was becoming the hunted. The lion wanted to add Hubert to his own trophy case.
Hubert looked to Phred for an indication of the lion's wherabouts. But the vulture, after gorging on the antelope carcass, was bloated and sleepily perching in the tree. Hubert needed to act. He began to move back toward the cover of the forest. He kept an arrow strung on his bow, in case the lion was laying an ambush somewhere and would surprise him.
Then, a little way up the hill, he saw a rock outcropping. There was a small cave there, a cave from which he could defend himself against the lion's advances. He headed up the hill.
Hubert reached the cave with no incident. His hunter's eyes, constantly darting about, had searched every nook, every cranny, every possible place the lion could be laying in ambush. Hubert breathed a sigh of relief as he slipped inside the little cave. Here was safety, if only momentary safety.
Hubert looked back toward where the pride was, to see if the lion had returned. But he was not to be seen. He was apparently still stalking Hubert. Phred was still lethargically sleeping in his tree. He began to scan the surrounding countryside, searching for the tawny back of a crouching lion.
There was a faint rustle behind him, and Hubert spun quickly around, only to come face to face with the very lion he had been hunting! He raised his bow, but as he did, the giant lion pounced...
"Hubert, suppertime!" his mom yelled from the kitchen.
"Awww, mom!" Hubert protested. "I was just getting to the good part."
"Sorry, but your dinner will get cold!" his mom yelled back.
Hubert shot his little plastic dart at the stuffed lion "ambushing" him in the closet.
"HA!" he declared triumphantly, placing his foot on the lion's neck. "Another victory for Hubert the Lion Hunter!!" He cast a condescending look at the stuffed vulture perched on his bed. "A lot of help YOU were," he said wryly.
Then, young Hubert trotted off to dinner, another victory under his belt, another triumph to add to his list.
© 1998-2021 Zach Bardon
Last modified 7.19.2019