Read by Natasha. Proofread by Claire Deakin. Duration 19.57
I was walking along by the palace pond when I heard Tim the Tadpole’s squeaky voice saying, “Bertie can I have a puppy? Oh please Bertie. I would so love to have a pet to play with.”
Bertie was looking a bit stumped for a reply, because he doesn’t like to say, “no,” but he can’t always do what Tim wants. Even though he used to be a prince, he can’t do everything. In fact, now that he’s a frog, most things are more difficult than ever: Except for hopping, and catching flies with his tongue.
Before Bertie could explain to Tim why it’s tricky for a tadpole to keep a puppy, Colin the Carp butted in, “Oh dear. Is there no end to the silly questions of little tadpoles? You can’t have a pet that’s bigger than yourself. If you had a puppy, you would be the puppy’s pet – or his breakfast.”
“Oh yes you can have a pet that’s bigger than yourself,” said Bertie. “The queen once had a camel and that was even bigger than her majesty.”
“Well you can’t have a pet that’s big enough to eat you,” said Colin. “And Tim wouldn’t even make a light snack for a puppy. He would be like a little morsel on the end of his tongue.”
“Oh yes you can have a pet that’s big enough to eat you,” said Bertie. “When I was a prince, I had a lion for a pet.”
‘Rubbish!” Said Colin. “You’re just making up stories again.”
“Well I’m allowed to make up stories,” said Bertie, “Because that’s what I’m best at. But this one happens to be true.”
Then Bertie told all the pond life the story of how he had a lion as a pet. I stopped to listen because it sounded jolly interesting.
One time when Bertie was still a small princeling, he went with his mother to the pet shop. This all happened in the good old days before the wicked queen took over and turned Bertie into a frog. Bertie’s mother was much nicer, although a little bit eccentric, which meant that her ideas were sometimes out of the ordinary. She wanted to buy a camel because she thought it would look interesting roaming around the palace grounds. The shopkeeper considered himself to be a bit of a whit, so he said to the queen,“Ah yes Ma’am, a camel. Will that be one hump or two?”
The queen gave the shopkeeper one of her stares, as if she meant his head to be chopped off. So he stuttered, “Of course Ma’am. I do so apologise. Right now we are out of camels. But we do have all sorts of interesting animals fresh in from Africa. For instance, we have handsome lion cub. A lion is rather more royal than a camel if you don’t mind me saying so.”
The queen was about to say, “You silly little man! Lions are for statues, not pets,” but Prince Bertie had already run over to the cub’s corner of the shop. He was so small, fluffy and cute, and he also looked just a bit sad to be living in a box. He gave Berte a tiny little roar.
So Bertie said, “Mummy, Mummy. Do let’s have a lion cub. I promise I’ll look after him all by myself. Honest I will. I’ll keep him with me always and we’ll be bestest friends.”
Bertie’s mother sometimes seemed a bit fierce, but she was a big softie really, and she thought that the lion cub looked very cute and harmless too. So she gave the shopkeeper a gold coin and they took the cub home to the palace.
Bertie called him Tiddles because he thought that was a funny name for a lion. The queen said that it was alright for friends to call him Tiddles, but that he would have to have an official name too for special occasions. So she said that his proper name would be Leopold the First.
Leopold the First, or Tiddles as everybody called him, loved living in the palace. At night he slept in Bertie’s bed where he looked just like a fluffy toy lion. During the day he liked sitting on the roof and watching everyone come and go. Up there, he looked just like a statue of a lion, until he started to move and prowl along the battlements – which gave anyone who noticed a big surprise. At other times he went for walks around the palace grounds, and everyone agreed that he was far more interesting and royal than a camel would ever have been.
For breakfast, Tiddles ate raw steak. For lunch he ate raw steak… And for supper he ate raw steak.
Tiddles grew, and he grew – and he became quite big.
But however big he became, he still loved Bertie. When he saw Bertie coming home from School, he would leap off the roof of the palace into the branches of a big oak tree, then he would climb down and bound up the drive to greet Bertie. He would jump up and hug him with his paws and lick his face. Then they would run into the grounds and play soccer together. Tiddles was great at dribbling the ball with his nose. Though one day when he was hungry he ate Bertie’s best football boots, but Bertie didn’t mind because he loved Tiddles so very much.
Anther game they liked playing was frightening the royal nanny. Tiddles and Bertie would both hide behind the curtains, and when they heard her coming along calling, “Bertie. It’s way past your bedtime young prince!”
The would both leap out and roar like this… “RAAWWWWWWWWR!”
She would be so frightened that she would run off to her room – and Bertie and Tiddles could say up for another half an hour and play.
But one day the king said to Bertie over breakfast, “That cub of yours has become quite a lion. He’s already growing a mane. It’s time he went to the zoo.”
“The zoo!” Said Bertie. “You can’t put Tiddles behind bars! And besides, I love him ! You should think of my feelings too Daddy!”
Of course the king didn’t want to make Bertie sad, so he agreed that Tiddles could live in the palace a little longer. But then one day Tiddles did something that made the king cross. Very cross indeed.
He had just appointed a new prime minister. The prime minister and all the grandest and most important people in the land came to see the king in the palace… Tiddles was waiting for them.
By now Tiddles wasn’t quite a grown up lion but he was no longer a cub. By the standards of cats he was big. Well actually, he was huge. If you didn’t know him, you would be quite scared to meet him. In fact, you would be terrified.
A big velvet curtain hung behind the throne, and sometimes Tiddles liked to sleep behind it. It was his hideaway place.
When the new ministers trooped into the throne room to meet the king, three musicians sounded their trumpets.
The sound woke up Tiddles and he thought that there would be a party with lots of music and games. So he strolled out from behind the curtains, stretched out his body, and then turned around to lick his bottom. In actual fact, he didn’t do anything very frightening at all – but the ministers were frightened.
The Minister of War climbed out of the window and jumped into a rose bush where he tore his trousers on the thorns. The prime minister had more mettle than that, and he picked up a chair and held it out in front of himself like a lion tamer. Tiddles yawned and showed all his teeth. That was too much. The whole government including the Prime Minister leaped out of the widows.
The king was furious because they trampled all over his roses. He decided that he didn’t like the government after all, so he sacked the lot of them and appointed some new ministers.
The next day the newspapers ran headlines like: “King throws ministers to the lions.”
“Lion-Taming Prime Minister Gets Sack.”
The king was furious when he read the papers, and he resolved that Tiddles must go, immediately. The new prime minister, who had replaced the old one who had run away from Tiddles, said he thought that the best place for a lion would be Africa. In fact, everyone in the palace who loved Tiddles – and that was everyone except the royal nanny – all agreed that it would be a wonderful thing to set him free in the wild, where he could live the life of a real lion.
So that’s what happened. The Minister for Nature put Tiddles on a flight to Africa. Before the plane left the tarmac, Prince Bertie came on board to give his pet a special goodbye hug. Then the plane flew Tiddles to Tanzania in East Africa . First he lived in a special sanctuary for lions. Then they released him into the wild. Bertie knew that things had turned out how they should, though he was very sad that he would never see his best friend again.
Three years later, the royal family chose a very special holiday. They went on safari in East Africa. They travelled across the open bush in four-wheel drive cars and saw all the wild animals. They had guides who carried guns just in case any creatures tried to attack them. At night they slept in tents under the stars.
One night they camped on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater. The king and queen decided to rest for the next day before continuing their safari.
Bertie had become friendly with the chief guide whose name was Joshua. He asked Joshua if had ever heard of a lion who had lived in a palace and been released into the wild. To Bertie’s surprise, Joshua said that of course everyone who worked in the game reserve had heard the story of the royal lion called Tiddles.
Now he was a big strong grown up lion, and was the leader of his pride (which is like a group of lions).
He agreed to take Bertie the next morning to see Tiddles come down to his favorite watering hole. He made Bertie promise to stay in the car, because Tiddles was a wild lion now and might be dangerous.
So Bertie got up at 5AM. Rosy red clouds still veiled the fierce African sun so that the air was still lovely and fresh. The great Ngorongoro Crater was filled with mists so it looked like a witch’s cauldron. Then the treetops started to emerge from the swirling brew. They got into the car and slowly drove down the winding route into the base of the crater. By now the sunlight was starting to play on the bark of the acacia trees. Zebra and deer were grazing in the long grass, always watching with their big glassy eyes for any suspicious movement that could be a big cat hunting for its breakfast.
Eventually they came to the watering hole where Joshua said that Tiddles like to come and drink sometimes. He didn’t come here every day, so they would need to be lucky, and so they waited.
Bertie saw lots of beautiful pink flamingos. He saw a hippo give the biggest yawn he had ever seen, and eventually the grass began to move and a big lion followed by three lionesses began to gamble down to the water. Although he was much bigger than when he had last seen him, Bertie knew right away that it was Tiddles. Tiddles took no notice of the car. He was used to tourists and didn’t think to see who was inside. Instead he led his pride down to drink. Bertie wound down the window and called out, “Tiddles,” but still Tiddles didn’t hear him. So then Bertie did something very silly indeed. He forgot about Joshua’s warning, and he opened the door of the car and jumped out onto the ground. He started to walk towards Tiddles. Joshua immediately leaped out of the driver’s seat and trained his gun on Tiddles.
“Your Royal Highness,” he said. “You had better get back into the car. Just come back slowly. Don’t run. If you run they will attack you.”
But Bertie carried on walking towards the lions and called out, “Tiddles, Tiddles, don’t you remember me? I’m Bertie. Your best friend.”
Tiddles took his mouth up from the water and looked around at Bertie. He stared at him for about half a minute, and then he started to bound towards him, with a great cat like spring in his step. Joshua squeezed his trigger but his gun didn’t fire. Dust had blown up from the wheels of the car had got into the gun and jammed it. It all happened so fast. Bertie didn’t have time to be afraid or to regret not taking Joshua’s advice.
Tiddles feet took off from the ground. He flew towards Bertie, wrapped his paws around him, and licked his face. Then Bertie and Tiddles did a kind of dance under the acacia trees. The friends were united and overjoyed to see each other once again.
And that’s the story of how Bertie had a pet lion, set him free in the wild African bush, and then went out to meet him again. Bertie says that if you are ever near a wild animal you must be ever so careful and follow all the instructions that you are given. Wild animals are very beautiful but very dangerous.
And don’t forget, there are loads more stories at Storynory.com. We have stories about Bertie, both when he was a prince and now that he’s a frog. We have other original stories about Theo the Monkey, Katie the Witch, and Gladys the songwriter. And we have loads and loads of traditional fairy tales, myths and legends. So drop by soon and listen to another one soon. For now, from me, Natasha, Bye Bye!
This was a very interesting story. I hope Bertie gets to see Tiddles again soon!
May 17, 2016
what can I say about this and other stories. perfect. An your voice give them life. thank you dear reader.
August 24, 2008
This makes no sense at all or doe it??? ?
December 1, 2016
btw i love your storys i stared listening to StoryNory when i was 3 and thats when i just came from Philippens to New Zealand. Now that i’m at New Zealand everything was hard it was hard to learn the English language but now i know louds and I grown up i’m 12 and now i love your storys and my sister does too!
what is the story about?joke the story beautiful but my cousin dont like it…………..
kyla or ryla —
September 15, 2008
[…] Storynory: Bertie and the Lion A touching and adventurous story about how Prince Bertie had a lion as a pet when he was still a boy-prince. With a nod of acknowledgment to Christian the Lion (YouTube). […]
I think Bertie should get married to princess Beatrice.
April 7, 2015
this story blows
marique persinger —
September 30, 2008
September 30, 2008
try to make them more funny
October 1, 2008
The stories are very very interesting and touching. I really enjoy them so mush. thanks for your hard work on them to provide us such great series of stories about little prince Bertie.
It’s perfect. I love them very much.
November 4, 2008
Many thanks for your lovely comment. So glad you like our stories.
Natacha, I loved your site. This was my first time on your site but it will not be my last. I am a teacher and I will be using your site with my students. I believe that they will like listening to your stories because you tell them so well. Thank You for all that you do. This is the best story telling site I have seen.
December 5, 2008
This story is a very mind blowing story. It would be much better if it had some good describing words. But i realy do like the story. It is one of the best storys I have ever heard.
December 9, 2008
The site is AMAZING!FABULOUS~~
January 10, 2009
thank you alot of
January 11, 2009
a very nice story i wish there are so many stories nice like this story
I THINK ALL WEB-SITES ARE HORRIBLE!!!!! I LIKE BEING A SOUR PUSS BECAUSE YOU GET TO SPEAK THE TRUTH, LIKE THIS,
I WEAR BRAWS ON MY HEAD AND YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!!!!!!!
June 4, 2009
Abigail, I’m not sure that all websites are horible… what about the wikipedia? they spread knowledge. And to give us credit, at least we try to spread something good for free. Hope you feel better about the web soon.
u no wat i dnt care wat ablgal says the stories roc and if u dnt lik them then u can just read a book and if u dnt lik that then u can just sit on the couch and be a sourpuss!!!!! bertie your stories roc! and thats comming from a non-sourpuss
haha i just relized whenever i think of the castle i think of the disney land castle
December 22, 2011
what was it like having a pet lion
March 24, 2012
Thank you for this story :)))
June 10, 2012
[…] Storynory:Â Bertie and the LionÂ A touching and adventurous story about how Prince Bertie had a lion as a pet when he was still a boy-prince. With a nod of acknowledgment to Christian the Lion (YouTube). […]
I love storynory I listen to it every day at bed time storynory is the best web-site ever
I am the best —
December 31, 2012
It’s a good story!
January 11, 2013
its a lovely story telling about the relationship between human beings and beasts as pets.
May 30, 2013
July 4, 2013
Natasha congratulation. Your voice is wonderful; when you read a story I think that you are into the story. Some stories are not so good; however your intonation it’s perfect; so the story is turned fabulous. My first language is Spanish; I’m learning English with your help. Thank you. A kiss for you.
August 11, 2013
I love your stories but I just want to know can u guys do more kaite stories btw I’m asking Natasha
Very nice story. Tim the tadpole is cute. You make very good stories. My favorite is St. George and the Dragon because the servant says that the princess is going to marry the Dragon and her wedding gift would be death. That is the funniest part. Goodbye. PS. Natasha’s voice is beautiful.
April 6, 2014
I BUMPED THIS
LOOOOOOOOOL LAST POST WAS IN 2013
April 7, 2014
amazing super cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
but oh dear there is only about 5000 stories I would like a million!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
May 11, 2014
hello Bertie, I would like to suggest our story in which the lovely Princess Beatrice will have a baby!!!!!!
first comment !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
October 4, 2014
can the next story have a witch in it? ppppppppppppppllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssse?
October 4, 2014
IM WATING BERTIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
October 4, 2014
i loooooooovvvvvvvveeeeeeee lions!
November 17, 2014
Could you please write more stories about Bertie’s pets, I really loved this one and it would be great to hear more about his pets because he is prince so he must’ve had lots. 🙂
November 17, 2014
I have listened to you since I was very little and I love your stories! I love this story and I would really like to hear others about your pets. I remember you said Beatrice had a rabbit, so could you maybe do a story about that? Please reply because this is only my second comment!
November 18, 2014
How do you know Bertie, and where does he get story ideas from??? :\
November 23, 2014
I really like Bertie stories.I think you should also do
Harry Potter stories.I have read the the series and still
enjoyit. You don’t have to but please reply.
December 5, 2014
Agastya ,I’m not Bertie but I have an answer: I think storynory has to make up the new series of storys, not read/tell ones that already exist. So you might have to read or be read Harry potter storys from now on.
December 17, 2014
Bertie has written many original stories for Storynory – The ever popular Katie the Witch, Gladys series, Bertie the prince series, wicked uncle series; just to mention a few. There are also adaptations, poems, music as well as ones that already exist. Thanks for listening!
Jana Elizabeth —
December 17, 2014
Oh, got it.
December 18, 2014
Brilliant story it was cool♦♥❇♥❇♥❇♥❇♥❇♥❇♥❇♥❇♥❇♥❇♥❇♥❇♦
January 14, 2015
I Love this story it rocks
February 12, 2015
i like this story
February 18, 2015
March 5, 2015
March 23, 2015
Love this story
April 18, 2015
How many kids are you going to have Bertie if you marry Beatrice
April 18, 2015
My little sis and I want to tell Jana Elisibeth and Natasha that we love Bertie story’s. Love Emily and Erin
Cherry pie —
April 24, 2015
Tim the tadpole is sssssssssssooooooooooo cute he is adorable I ❤ Tim and I also ❤ Tidals I have a joke how do lions eat there meat ? Answer: RAW!!!!!!!! Joke why do Bears hate wearing socks Answer: Because they have bear feet. Mwhawhawhawhaw ????????????????????????????????????tthe time is ticking ????????????????????????????????????a amairicans call zebras zeebras and foot ball soccer so is natasha
December 29, 2015
Bertie why can’t we see our messages
And do u look at messages still because the story seems really old
Omg I almost forgot I love the pic
January 31, 2016
Your stories are truly amazing
January 31, 2016
I really liked this story,its sooooooooooooo good???
March 1, 2016
I loved this story,it was soooo good
March 5, 2016
awesomeness. i love it. happy face emoji.
April 27, 2016
Love these stxroies but I have to go?????????????????????????✈️
I can't say... —
June 26, 2016
I love your stories
Kylo Ren —
September 7, 2016
I SO want a lion now. And a frog….
October 31, 2016
This is a good story!
I have watched a video about Christian the lion already,
and I think it’s amazing!
November 15, 2016
I told my school about your storys and they loved it i love your muisic and my friends love them too!
Vianna (from Frimley Primary School) —
February 17, 2017
I wouldn’t have a lion cub.
Did you know Bretie, lions are very dangerous and they can kill animals or people.
Don’t get any animals that can kill if it is a cub like tigers, bears , snow loepards and pumas
June 16, 2017
I love this story
July 4, 2017
Great story but made me a little sad to think about pets that have gone forever