(Inspiration... la forza 11 oil on panel (THE STRENGTH)c by Alba2 Rossini)
Along the way Leo met many animals. They all had respect for him but he found that they actually seemed to LIKE him. He held his head a little higher at the thought that not EVERYONE was after him. He had been in the cave way too long. He needed to get out more. He made a mental note to "get out more" and continued on his way to the oak tree. It was close. He could see the leaves of it’s' branches up ahead. He stepped up his pace, walking a little taller.
As he walked up to the old oak tree Leo noticed the other animals bowed to him. It wasn't often that this part of the woods saw the great king and they respected him.
The tree had a door on it so Leo knocked gently. It was a fragile door and he didn't want to make a bad impression by breaking it.
"Whooootzzz there???" He heard from inside the door.
"It is me... King Leo" Leo bellowed in as forceful a voice as his sore tooth would let him. "I am in need of your services."
The door opened and a frail little mouse was standing in front of him. It shook as it looked up at him. The mouse ran back in the tree and Leo peeked through the door. He would not fit so he had to stand outside. A soft warm glow lit the room inside and he saw an owl sitting on a short perch. The little mouse was at his side and handed him a cup of something that smelled heavenly. Leo's mouth watered. He had not thought to eat. He had been so busy worrying about the ache in his tooth that food didn't seem to cross his mind... til now. He looked at the little mouse. It would probably be too tough to chew anyway.
"State your business" the owl bellowed. And Leo was brought back to the task at hand. The owl motioned for the mouse to bring a bowl to the king. It shook its head no... But the owl with a forced scowl ORDERED him too. The mouse did as he was told. The bowl shook at he set it down in front of Leo.
The warm liquid was comforting to Leo's tooth. He slurped up every drop. In a few moments he was feeling almost no pain. WHAT was in that liquid???
"I have a toothache and I need someone to help me" mewed Leo.
"Ah yes... I heard you were looking for some help with your tooth" the owl nodded. "That liquid you just drank will help temporarily. But its comforts will wear off soon. You need a more permanent solution. Now open your mouth so I can see the tooth, please."
Leo lazily opened his mouth. He was feeling no pain. The owl peered inside. "Well... I’m no dentist but that tooth looks like it will need to be pulled."
"PULLED???" Leo woke up. "That sounds painful."
"Don't worry... a proper dentist will give you something to numb it before they pull it. But it looks pretty bad to me. It will need to be done as soon as possible. I have a dentist friend who is really good. She makes house calls too. I will send for her. You go home and wait." The owl motioned for Leo to leave and he handed him a bottle before he closed the door. "You take some of this every few hours and it will hold you over til you can see the dentist." And with that last line he closed the door and Leo was left alone.
A few moments later he saw the little mouse scurry out the door and through the woods. He thought about his stomach and chasing after it for a snack but he was too tired. He slowly made his way back home to his cave.
His wife was waiting for him when he got home. She was not a happy lioness. He didn't care. Whatever the owl gave him he felt good... for now. He smiled and waited.