The Lions

The Day the Lions Woke Up

A short story by Doug Van Slembrouck

The Day the Lions Woke Up

One day, at nine a.m. sharp, the huge green bronze lions shook off their Christmas wreaths, leaped off their marble platforms outside the art museum, and stretched a long yearly stretch. Heading south, they ran down Michigan avenue, being careful not to crush any commuters, and cut across Grant Park.

Cyrus, the somewhat less witty of the two, loved to watch the dolphins splashing at the aquarium while David preferred to stand under the Brachiasurous and gaze up under it, covered in snow. It made him feel small.

The men working high on the new apartment tower were still there this year, and once again tossed down fruit and ham sandwiches and cartons of milk for the two mighty lions to catch in their giant mouths.

They then ran all the way up the beach, splashing in the ice cold water, shaking off all the stiffness from the last twelve months. Cyrus was slightly stockier then David, having been the fattest of the two babies (although David was clearly mom’s favorite), and he shook the earth hard as he ran as far out into the lake as he could. Solid bronze was heavy, and if he went too far, he would sink like, well, a huge bronze lion statue.

They ran all the way down Navy Pier, stood over the lake, and roared mighty mighty roars into the crashing waves. Everyone clapped and cheered, although several tourist from Japan were visibly upset, and kept checking their tour books in anger.

David reluctantly followed Cyrus up to Rush Street, there was a very pretty waitress there that Cyrus really liked, and last year she promised to be working today. She wasn’t, so Cyrus had a gallon of Guinness and cried a little, but then had to find someplace to pee, and decided that the birch trees on Huron needed “watering”.

David, clearly embarrassed of his older brother at this point, felt quite justified deciding what to do next, and although Cyrus complained, David had a wonderful time discussing the latest political news with the law students at a cafe.

Cyrus eventually occupied himself by helping local residents blow the snow off their cars, and when Cyrus was finished with his half-caf, no-foam, triple soy latte, they both had a great time chasing the trains leaving the train station. This lasted well into the evening, and just after eight o-clock, they felt their legs and necks and tails getting stiff, so they headed back to the art museum and climbing back up on the marble platforms.

It took ten minutes to convince Cyrus that no, you cannot pose the next year licking yourself, but once he did, David and his dim-witted but lovable brother lifted their heads to the western stars and, at nine p.m. on the dot, fell asleep for another year.

Creative Commons License
The Day The Lions Woke Up by Doug Van Slembrouck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

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