Once, twice and thrice upon a time there lived a Jungle. It started at the bottom and went upwards till it reached the monkeys, who had been waiting years for the trees to reach them, and as soon as they did the monkeys invented climbing down. Most trees were made of wood, and so were the rest. Trees never spoke, not even to each other, so they never said much (actually one tree did once say "much" but nobody believed him), they never said "fish" either, not even on Fridays. It was a really good Jungle: great scarlet lilies, yellow irises, thousands of grasses all grew very happily, and this Jungle was always on time. Some people are always late, like the late King George V. But not this Jungle.
This Jungle became very, very popular with lots of wonderful animals; there was absolutely no shortage of them and therefore the Jungle was ever so busy. This Jungle was called the Bozzollika-Dowser Jungle. Because. There was no organization there, but everything worked out perfectly. Some scientists tried to make an organized Jungle of plastic, but it didn't improve conditions and the scientists left saying, "Let's go to the moon instead," and as there is nothing on the moon it seemed the best place for them. Men kept coming to the Jungle looking for gold, diamonds, gas and oil. Whereas simple animals could live without the things, brilliant man couldn't, in fact he'd forgotten how to. One thing he never forgot was how to have wars and say, "Oh dear, how sad," when children were killed by bombs. The animals left these things called men alone. In return for this kindness man killed them, cut off their skins and put them on the floor; cut their heads off and stuck them on the walls. But if ever an animal killed a man, it was in all the newspapers.
But this story is a hap-hap-happy story, about animals. One day in the middle of the Jungle, near a village called Pongoland, a big lion called Mr Gronk had an attack of strongness. He was twenty-one that day and had been given the key to the Jungle, so he put on a fierce look and then, leaping in the air, he gave the biggest, loudest roar in the world. "ROAR - ROAR - ROAR!! ROAR!!!" he went; in fact he roared so loud that it loosened all the roots of his hair and tinkle tinkle all his lovely mane fell off, and landed on the ground PLIP-PLAP-PLOP 200,000 times, one for every hair. Suddenly Mr Gronk the lion saw himself in the Daily Mirror and, oh! he saw that he was now bald! A Bald Lion? "Oh dearie me, I'll be the laughing stock of the hyenas," he said. So he un-roared, "RAOR! RAOR! RAOR!", but his hairs didn't go back in, they just lay there smiling up at him in hairy (that's hair language). Poor Mr Gronk, he now looked like a bald twit lion. As a passing hippopotamus said, "I am a passing hippopotamus," and went on to say, "you look like a bald hairless twit lion." When the lion heard that, he became naughty, angry and was just about to do a BIG roar, but no! he stopped, just in time; he'd better not roar any more, or something else might drop off him! He would look even sillier as a one-legged bald hairless twit lion, so, from then on when he was angry, he could only say very quietly, "Tsu-tsu-tsu", and there is nothing funnier than a bald hairless twit lion called Mr Gronk leaping about the Jungle going, "Tsu-tsu-tsu".
One night when he was having tea (Lyons) he said, "I can't go on being bald. It's a big problem: I must find a solution." So he squeezed every tube in the Jungle, but not one had the right solution in it. Then he thought, "I'll try straining very hard and think about growing hairs." So he strained, strained and STRAINED, but it only made his eyes water and his nose bleed. Everyone laughed. His own flea left him. "There's nowhere to hide on a bald twit lion," he said and hopped it. He bribed a part-time hairy ant-eater to sit on his head; it really looked like real hair, but the lion got hick-ups and, each time, hairy ant-eater fell off. "I'm off," he said (which was obvious as he'd just fallen off). Lion was heart-broken. "Sad growls," he said and then did what no lion had ever done before, not even in the Ark, he laid himself down on the World and cried. "Boo-hoo, boo-hairless-hoo." The animals, having no television, gathered around him to look and feel sad. "He must have an upset tummy," said a monkey's stomach. "I would say he's had bad news," said a teenage coconut. "Rubbish," said a daft penguin and his cousin. "Lions never get bad news. No one can ever get near enough to tell them." "I think I know what it is," said an owl from his bed. "His great-great grandfather was a baboon who tried to fly to the sun, and he has just heard about it." All the animals shook their heads, and some fell off. It wasn't a very good day for the Jungle or the animals. To make it worse a mole made a mole hill that turned into a mountain and hurt its back.
By now Bald Twit Lion had cried so much he ran out of tears, and had to drink two gallons of water, (one for each eye). Then off he went again. "Boo...-hoo. Boo-hoo." All hope was not lost. A voice above him said, "Please stop crying - I've got rheumatism and all this water doesn't help." It was a lovely cross-eyed white crow (he had once been a black one, but he went colour blind making a rainbow). "Things could be worse," said Crow. "You could be a Hamlet pencil, 2B or not 2B..." "Oh, shut up," said Lion. "You're even making my misery miserabler." "Listen," said the Crow landing on Lion's nose. "Why don't you get all the other lions to shave their heads bald then yours wouldn't notice!" Bald Twit Lion jumped to his paws. "Whoopee! Saved! I've been saved. Mr White Crow, thanks," and he gave Crow a piece of knotted string as a present. Round the Jungle raced Hairless Bald Twit Lion: "Shave all your heads, or your legs will drop off!" he shouted. Soon the Jungle was alive with the sound of frightened lions shaving their heads to stop their legs falling off. In fractions it went like this:
Shave all your heads or your legs will drop off = fear / shaving = Bald Twit Lions.
Next morning the Jungle was full of hairless bald twit lions with legs and Mr Gronk was delighted.
So all that day the Jungle was a mass of leaping bald-headed lions, all looking very pleased with themselves for saving their legs. But, oh dear! Everything and every non-lion animal burst out laughing. One monkey laughed so much he fell out of his tree and krupled his blutzon, but worse still, the lady lions were all furious with fury at their silly bald husbands, so they refused to talk or growl to them. All the bald lions realized they had been spoofed. But then, along came a holy man called Daniel. He took pity on them. "Listen," he said. "I was once locked in a den of lions, and none of them bit me, and the audience asked for their money back, so it's my turn to do you all a good turn." So he did twenty good turns and became giddy. Then he sat down, and started to invent lions' wigs. He did it like this. After dark, Daniel would creep up to sleeping gorillas and snip-snip all the hairs off their chests. Daniel then stuck the hairs on a piece of rag, and glued them to the lion's head with nails, all except - Guess Who? Yes, poor old Mr Gronk the hairless bald twit lion. Because he was responsible for all the baldness, he was left out.
He became so sad he cried for forty days and forty nights and suffered from lakes on the knees. To make it worse there were ducks on the lake, they made such a noise at night he couldn't get to sleep so he got to wake. The quacking drove his knees deaf, in fact even if you hit stones at them they could not hear - they were stone deaf - and poor Mr Gronk had to tie ear trumpets to his legs so his knees could hear stones coming. What a picture of twit misery.
Now, you can't stop a story and leave Mr Gronk like that! No! He was still bald and it was this that changed his life. One day a party of tourists surprised Bald Twit, who was sleeping under a porridge tree for breakfast. The tourists couldn't believe their eyes, some couldn't even believe their teeth.
A bald lion? This must be the rarest animal in the world! Never in the history of the world had there ever been such a hanimule. It did not take long before great safaris of tourists were crowding the Jungle with cameras and flashlights. Mr Gronk's head became the most photographed bald head in the world, some people even took tape recordings of his baldness. His head got into the Top Ten Baldies; he out-balded Yul Brynner and Bing Crosby. Record companies even made long playing records of his bald head.
For a time he was very happy but - whereas everyone was mad to see his bald head, no one ever came to see him. This was the bitter end. But God was watching, he liked lions, so God slid down from Heaven on a religious giraffe's neck to the ground. "Who are you, sir?" said Lion. "I am Mr God. If you don't believe me, ask Giraffe!"
Lion did, and Giraffe said, "Oh yes, he's God."
"There," said God. "If you still don't believe me, ask me a difficult question."
"O.K.," said Lion. "How much is 2x2?"
"Four," said God.
"Oh yes," said Lion. "You're God all right."
"Good," said God. "Close your eyes and say `Miggle Moggle Cake'."
Lion did. When he opened his eyes God had gone back home. But Lion now had a lovely lovely mane of beautiful black hair, and he was so happy he married a Roman Catholic giraffe and lived happily ever after until the next day.