Ellen's Lion: Twelve Stories by Crockett Johnson
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Originally published in 1959 and out of print for two decades, this collection of very short stories chronicles Ellen’s relationship– complete with two-way conversations–with her floppy stuffed lion. Ellen’s temperament is a bit like Christopher Robin’s (though her appearance is a clone of Harold, from Harold and the Purple Crayon fame), but her lion is a no-nonsense, tougher-minded Pooh, with the voice of reason and reality to counter Ellen’s high-flying imagination. The stories range from fear of the dark and being sad to playing doctor, being a fairy princess, and dealing with a new toy that almost replaces lion.
Parents will find the subtly droll stories as entertaining as children, and a child who reads chapter books will find especially rewarding.
v3.1 Title Page Copyright First Page About the Author 12 Stories Conversation and Song Trip to Arabia Close Escape Two Pairs of Eyes Doctor’s Orders Growing Confusion Five-Pointed Star The Two Statues Sad Interlude Fairy Tale Mountain Climb The New Squirrel CONVERSATION AND SONG Ellen sat on the footstool and looked down thoughtfully at the lion. He lay on his stomach on the floor at her feet. “Whenever you and I have a conversation I do all the talking, don’t I?” she said.
lion thought for a moment. “Hmm,” he said. “They’re awful,” Ellen continued. “Ellen,” the lion said, “I don’t think there are any such things.” “Oh, no? Then how can they scare me?” said Ellen indignantly. “They’re terribly scary things.” “They must be exceedingly scary,” said the lion. “If they keep hiding in back of you they can’t be very brave.” Ellen frowned at the lion. Then she considered what he had said. “I guess they’re not very brave,” she agreed. “They wouldn’t dare bother me
if I could look both ways at the same time.” “Yes,” said the lion. “But who has two pairs of eyes?” “Two people have,” Ellen said, staring up at where the ceiling was when it wasn’t so dark. “I wouldn’t be afraid to go down the hall for a drink of water if I was two people.” Suddenly she reached out for the lion, dragged him to her, and looked him in the eyes. “Mine are buttons,” he said. “They’re sewn on. I can’t see very well in the dark.” “Nobody can,” Ellen whispered as she got out of
vegetables on their heads. They’re supposed to be vegetables, you see.” “It sounds like a very interesting play,” said the lion. “It is,” said Ellen. “You ought to see it.” “I haven’t been invited,” said the lion. Ellen thought. “All the seats are for the mothers and fathers,” she said. “I understand,” the lion said. “And, anyway, I have something else to do today.” “You’re not doing anything,” Ellen said. “You’re just lying on the floor.” “That’s something,” said the lion. “I’ll invite
in the world?” said Ellen, dragging a skipping rope out from under a pile of toys. “No,” said the lion. “The trouble with you is you have no ambition,” Ellen said. “You just lie there on the floor, not even moving. You don’t even move your mouth when you talk. Don’t you want to be famous?” Before the lion could say “no” again, she wrapped one end of the rope around his stomach and the other end around her waist. “Mountain climbers always tie themselves together in case one of them falls,” she