Today was Ally's birthday.
"Happy birthday Ally!" cried Mum and Dad when I opened my eyes from last night's sleep. I saw their smiling faces looking down at me, Mum's dirty-blond hair tied in a loose bun, and Dad's recently-shaved face. I smiled.
"Hello Mum. Hello Dad. What brings you to stand by my bed? You've never done that before." I responded. My Dad's face looked strained for a moment then he smiled.
"We got you a big present and we wished to show it to you ourselves, our ten year old princess!" He patted my head gently as if I was made of glass and could break any moment. Mum moved to the side and pointed, there beside my door stood a life-sized toy lion. The lion looked real, with his mane and giant paws. His gentle brown eyes seemed to search me.
"Wow! He's... amazing!" I screamed, dashing out of the bed, my purple flower sheets flying out behind me.I rested beside him, rubbing his soft sleek fur and burying my face into his mane. He seemed so realistic!
"Here look," Mum told me, she lifted me up to sit on his back, the lion held me! "If only he could walk." Mum smiled at me, stepping back. I joyously hugged his neck and cried out.
"My lion and I, best friends forever!"
I yank my head from my pillow, scanning my bedroom for my giant lion. Ah, at last I spotted him. His head turned and looked at me. He blinked, then roared. Screaming I jump back, my eyes huge, staring at the massive lion. His lips curled into a snarl and he leaped, straight towards me. I felt my heart stop beating and the blood drain from my face, as he landed a foot away from me. I could see the air rising from his nostrils and notice his huge white fangs, inches from my face. Then he blinked, an understanding and dashed out the open bedroom door. his massive paws thudded down the hall as he escaped and jumped... to land on the door. Shattering the door he bursts out into the sunlight, only to disappear into the wilderness. And there I sat, rocking back and forth and crying in a horrible fright. Shakily I crawled off the bed. Whimpering I walked slowly to my parent's room.
"It's not real. It's not real." I kept murmuring. I could still hear his roar and I could still see him jumping towards me. Still crying I opened their bedroom door, to see them staring at me, crying as well. Quickly Mum and Dad brushed away their tears and ran to comfort me. Dad shut and locked the door while Mum sat me on the couch and hugged me.
"Are you okay? We heard the roar and thought you were dead." Dad exclaimed. Then he shrank back, looking sorry for himself. After I relayed what happened, Mum hugged me and told me "it was okay" and "it's over now" But I knew I would never forget that day. I looked at their anxious and worried faces, and my eyes strayed to the door.
"We made an understanding. He accepted me, I have to find him!" I told Mum. She gasped.
"Why? No, I won't let you do that! You could die!" Dad shouted. "I can't lose you."
"I will be okay. He trusts me now, I think in the beginning he was just scared, please Mum, please Dad, let me get my birthday present back!" I stared into their faces for signs of hope.
"Oh, I don't know. Do you have to go get an untamed lion that can kill you in an instant? Besides, you have no idea where he lives! I mean we have twenty acres of land with jungles and trails! How do you catch a full grown, hungry lion?" Mum looked down at my hoping face.
"When you say it like that, I don't know. But it can't be as hard as it sounds," I pleaded. 'Please, please, please!"
"As long as we go with you," Dad joined in. But seeing Mom's glare he added "I mean as long as I go with you." Then Mom smiled.
"Be careful!" Mum yelled as Dad and I stepped out of the shredded door, stuffed with flashlights, knives, a gun, (For my Dad of course) Snacks, water-bottles, a cell-phone, and a couple of ropes and more.
"You sure we should do this?"
"Yes. Positive." We surged into the darkness of the jungle. I stared in awe at all the trees, vines and plants, just anything green. All the birds and bugs and a monkey! "We should go to the jungle more often! This is awesome, for the first time!" I exclaimed as watching a wild blue parrot eat a large walnut. We heard the lion roar and something scream out in pain. My Dad looked at me, and I pointed west. We both headed that direction. After swooping under birds, attacking snakes and climbing trees we found him. With blood still on his mouth he just stared at me, as I stared at him. Then slowly he walked toward me, nodded his agreement and slowly I climbed on his muscular back. The lion waited patiently for Dad which was shaking as he climbed on the lion's back. The lion roared, this time we covered our ears. The lion leaped into the air, as the whole world seemed to take a breath, and the lion carried us home. To this day I still have my lion, Azekth, and I still ride him.