Nikko, the Brave

If you want a friend, you must show that you care (Children’s Songbook, page 262).

Nikko looked in the mirror and shook his shaggy head and roared. Then he picked up his long tail and flicked it like a whip.

“Honey, are you dressed yet?” His mother called from the kitchen. “It’s time to go.”

Nikko padded into the kitchen, carrying his tail in his hand.

“Please don’t eat me, brave king of the jungle,” Mother begged with a smile.

The lion bared his teeth and roared.

“Let’s get going, or you’ll be late for the school costume party,” Mother said. The lion crept to the car and then pounced inside.

* * * * * *

“Have fun at school, my brave lion,” Mother said as he bounded out of the car.

“Why, Nikko, don’t you look like a brave jungle beast!” His teacher smiled at him as he entered the classroom. “Go sit in the circle with the other children, and I’ll be there in a minute to tell you a story.”

The lion crept toward the other children. Nikko the little boy had always wanted to be Lissa’s friend, but he had been afraid to talk to her. But Nikko the brave lion was not afraid. He looked for Lissa and crouched down beside her. She was dressed like a princess in a sparkling gown. “You look pretty,” the lion whispered.

Princess Lissa smiled and tapped the lion’s shaggy head with her magic wand. “And I name you Nikko, the Wise Ruler of the Jungle.”

The lion pawed the air and roared softly.

* * * * * *

The next morning, Nikko stood in front of his mirror and roared. He shook his shaggy head and flicked his long tail.

“Honey, are you dressed yet?” Mother called.

Nikko padded into the kitchen with his tail in his hand.

Mother was rinsing the dishes at the sink. When she turned around, she exclaimed, “Oh! Oh my!”

The lion looked up and roared.

“You shouldn’t wear your costume today,” Mother said. “Yesterday was costume day. It’s all over now.”

“But I’m brave when I’m a lion,” Nikko told her.

“You’re my brave boy, even without your lion costume. Remember how you helped take care of your Grandpa when he came home from the hospital?”

“But my teacher thinks I’m a brave jungle beast when I’m wearing my lion costume.”

Mother slipped the furry mane off Nikko’s head. “Remember how you felt when you asked if you could help Uncle Jack build his deck? You don’t need a lion’s costume to feel brave.”

* * * * * *

Nikko went to school in his regular clothes. He could not flick his tail or shake his shaggy head or roar.

At recess, Nikko saw Lissa standing at the door to the playground. He still thought she looked pretty, even without her sparkling gown and magic wand. “You’d better go get your jacket and put it on,” Nikko warned her. “It’s going to rain.”

Lissa looked out at the dark sky. “Do you know what, Nikko? You’re wise even when you’re not dressed up like a lion.”

Brave, wise Nikko shook his head, roared softly, and padded out to the playground with his new friend.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Karen Foster

Sweet Spider

To make this spider, you will need: old scissors, a ruler, 2 black chenille sticks, glue, 2 wiggle eyes, a black pom-pom, and a wrapped, ball-shaped lollipop.

  1. 1.

    From the chenille sticks cut four 5″ (13 cm) pieces, one for each pair of legs.

  2. 2.

    Look at the picture, and make your own spider.

[photo] Photo by Lana Leishman

Leaf Wreath

To make this wreath, you will need: scissors, a paper plate, glue, and colorful leaves.

  1. 1.

    Ask an older person to cut out the middle of the paper plate. The rim will be the wreath.

  2. 2.

    Glue the leaves onto the wreath until it is completely covered.

[photo] Photo by Lana Leishman

Good Books for Little Friends

God’s Quiet Things by Nancy Sweetland “Shh—Listen.” Look and listen for God’s quiet things—like raindrops on water, drifting clouds, fish swimming in ponds, and leaves moving in the breeze. They and more are in this book and all around, if you’ll shhh—listen.

Lily by Abigail Thomas Everything was right where it belonged, and that’s how Lily, a little black dog, liked it. Then one terrible morning, Lily’s bowl was gone, the rooms were filled with boxes, and the furniture began to disappear! Lily soon found, however, that even in a new house, everything can be right where it belongs.

The Hayloft by Lisa Westberg Peters Caroline Rose and Ivy live on a farm; they have sheep, cows, a cat named Hebby, and a giant hayloft. Sometimes Hebby hides in the hayloft. Sometimes Caroline Rose and Ivy hide from the rain in the hayloft. One night the girls decide to sleep in the hayloft with Hebby—and discover that Hebby isn’t their only roommate!

The Butterfly Seeds by Mary Watson Jake is sad to leave Grandpa and sail across the ocean to a new home. Grandpa gave each one of the family a gift to remember him by. His gift to Jake was “butterfly seeds.”

I Have Many Talents Game

Each of us have talents. Our talents may differ from each other’s, but all talents are important. After playing this game with your family, discuss some of the talents each member of the family possesses.

Instructions: To play this game, remove this page from the magazine and glue it to lightweight cardboard. (Optional: cover with clear, self-sticking paper.) Cut out the squares on the heavy black lines and place them in a paper sack. The first player picks one talent card from the sack, then acts out the pictured talent until someone guesses the talent he/she is pantomiming. The correct guesser then takes a turn picking a talent card. Repeat the process until all the cards have been selected.






Helping Others






Giving Hugs

Showing Love

Making Friends


Being a Missionary

[illustrations] Illustrated by Elise Black