The Lion and the Frog

Long ago, some time before the Kami descended to the mortal realms, there lived a Great Lioness lord of the lands, a Kitsu, one of those spirits of old, not quite animal and not a man, but with the best qualities of both. The Lioness had inherited vast and fertile lands from her father, a great warrior strong of tooth and claw and a strong leader. The Lioness had inherited the inner strength of her father and was skilled in making decisions of great difficulty swiftly and with determination, as befitted a Pride Lord. Like many leader of great will though, once the Lioness had made a choice, she was loathe to change it no matter the consequences.
One fine Day of surpassing fineness, with the sun shining hot and golden in the sky, shining her love on all she saw below her, the Lioness lead her pride in a fine hunt, felling many of the vast and bountiful beasts that shared that land with her people. So energetic was the hunting on that day, that at the end of it, the Lioness felt the exhaustion that only comes with great efforts dutifully performed, and soon grew sleepy as the Sun slowly withdrew behind her indigo sheets of surpassing comfort.
The Lioness turned three times, as all great cats do before they lie to slumber, and sank dreamily to her bed of soft earth and grass. But, before she could complete her journey to the lands of the dream, she was interrupted by a sound of exquisitely sleep-depriving candor.

Creee-eek ! Creee-EEK ! CREEE-EEK !

The Lioness opened one sleepy eye and looked to the source of this sound, a jade-green frog of most humble size and no splendor whatsoever.
“Tiny frog,” growled the Lioness, “I am rightfully exhausted by dutiful exertions, and am just now lying myself to my bed of sweet grass in an effort to visit the lands of sleep, as all of Ameratsu’s children must at end of day, and yet here you sit, squat, ugly, and of immense ordinariness, croaking your song of surpassing annoyance. As the Lord of all these lands, I hereby command you to go away from this place and make your noise no more, or face the wrath of my considerably sharp teeth and deadly claws of great length.”

The frog stared at the Lioness with unbecoming boldness, and sang a little song

I may be small, but my mouth is broad
And the sound I make is exceptionally loud
You may not like the noise I make
But you should listen for your own sake

The Lioness smiled a smile on no mirth, showing all her magnificent teeth, and swatted the frog with her mighty paw, sending it flying through the air in a prodigious trajectory.
Satisfied, she then lay her head upon her paws, and slept.

The following day, the Lioness and her pride fought a great battle against the Large, Wolf like beast who had an idea to carve a portion of the Lioness’ hunting grounds to their own meager holdings. The Lioness lead her warriors with courage, felling a few of the Wolf-Dogs that did not run swiftly enough from her in terror, and that night her muzzle was stained red with the blood of her enemies, righteously shed in honorable battle. She and her Pride settled to their rest with the exhaustion born only of righteous efforts.
As the Lioness turned around three times, as all great cats do before they lie to slumber, and sank gracefully to her bed of soft earth and grass, she was jarred in a most impolite manner by a sound of exquisitely sleep-depriving candor.

Creee-eek ! Creee-EEK ! CREEE-EEK !

The Lioness opened one angry eye and looked to the source of the sound, the same jade-green frog she had previously banished from her lands.

“Little frog,” she growled with weighty menace, “I have once before warned you to not importune my sleeping hours, and had thought the gentle nudge I had bestowed upon you should have been enough to make my wishes known, but now my eye is offended once again by your squat and ignomous presence. Tell me then, why should my teeth, still tasting of the coppery lifeblood of mine enemies, and my claws, still scarlet from the slaughter, not take the voice from your throat in a matter that will please most greatly ?”
The frog fixed its unperturbed gaze of immense boldness upon the Lioness once more and croaked its little song

I may be small, but my mouth is broad
And the sound I make is exceptionally loud
You may not like the noise I make
But you should listen for your own sake

The Lion paused but not at all before swatting the frog once more, sending it hurtling a great distance out of her sight, and out of her hearing as well.
Satisfied, she then lay her head upon her paws, and slept.

On the next day, there came a great tearing of the heavens, as if Amerterasu herself wept for all the sorrows of her children, and the plains of the Lioness’ lands ran with swift waters. On that day the Lioness saved several cubs of her pride from drowning, as the banks of one of the newly formed rivers gave way and the young lions fell into the tumultuous waters. The cubs would have been swept under were it not for the Lioness bravely throwing herself into the raging torrent to carry the young to safe ground. That night, the Lioness felt the exhaustion that only comes from brave deeds selflessly performed.
As the Lioness and her pride searched her vast pridelands for a new hill upon which to lay their heads, for their former den had been washed out by the rains, she finally spotted a likely place near a warren of old and twisted trees.

The Lioness could barely turn around the third times, as all great cats must do before they lie to slumber, and sank wearily to her bed of soft earth and grass, when she was unsurprisingly interrupted in a most impolite manner by a sound of exquisitely sleep-depriving candor.

Creee-eek ! Creee-EEK ! CREEE-EEK !

The Lioness opened one baleful eye and sought the source of the sound, but the jade-green frog was nowhere to be seen.
Thinking that the frog had finally found some small amount of wisdom, the Lioness almost regretted the deed she must perform, but the frog had interrupted her sleep for the last tie, and she slowly rose to her feet and went forth to silence it permanently.
She padded slowly and softly, seeking to let the frog enjoy its last few moments, closer and closer to the source of the most exceedingly unbearable sound. As she crept over the crest of the newly claimed hill, she heard once more the unbearable sounds.

Creee-eek ! Creee-EEK ! CREEE-EEK !

But this time the sound was cut off abruptly, and the Lioness turned to see several shadowy shapes tearing at something small right behind her.
The Lioness became instantly alert, and with a roar of earth-shaking volume, leapt out at the Wolf-Creatures whos’ lands her pride had wandered dangerously close to. Like the craven creatures they were, the Wolfen attempted to flee, but it was too late, fro the Lioness’ claws and teeth were among them now, and made quick work of the slaughter.
The triumphant Lioness surveyed the shapes surrounding her for any signs of life when her eyes fell upon a small, jade-green, unmoving shape. The frog whos warning had saved her and her pride from a shameful assassins’ ambush while they slept lay dead upon the brink of a small puddle.
The Lioness felt the pain that only comes from regret, and looked down upon the body of the frog with remorse, when she noticed movement within the small puddle, for there the small swimming spawn of the frog nested.
The Lioness decided on that night that thenceforth, the children of the frog would be welcome in her lands, and their song would be taken as wise counsel and heeded by all who dwelt within her demesnes.

The Lion and the Frog

Between Crimson Skies Ecce Ecce