L i n k i n g L i o n e L A chain is made up of many little links.Every link on the chain wraps its armsaround another link, and they hug eachother. As long as they hug each other realtight, the chain won’t break. There was once a link family who lovedeach other very much. They hugged eachother securely, so their chain was verystrong. Now on that chain there was a certainlittle link named Lionel. He was thinnerthan some of the other chain links, but hedid his best to hug the links on either side ofhim tightly. Lionel’s family’s chain held up adrawbridge. A drawbridge was a great big bridge onthe outside of a castle, and when peoplewanted to go in or out of the castle, the man A DRAWBRIDGE
who operated the drawbridge turned a It was Lionel. He was hugginggreat, heavy wheel, which caused the his place on the chain, and hechain to lower the drawbridge that started grumbling to himself.would cover the castle’s moat. The “Look at me!” he murmured. “I’mpeople could then walk safely over the so insignificant. I bet nobody evendrawbridge, or gallop over it on their notices how hard I work every day.”fine horses. He looked over at all the other links in his family. They all seemed The trouble all started one sunny quite happy to be used wheneverday. The birds were chirping merrily the drawbridge needed to go down.in the treetops and the breeze made But not Lionel. Lionel was in a badripples on the water in the moat. But mood.way up high on the chain, trouble was “What I do must not be verybrewing. important. In fact, if I didn’t do what I was doing, nobody would even notice.” He looked around. “Look at all those other links!—How many are there? One, two, three, four, five … ten … twenty … thirty … forty … fifty links! There are so many other links that I’m sure I won’t be missed.” CLANG! CLANG!
“Bridge coming The great drawbridge came further and further down. It started goingdown!” shouted a faster and faster and faster, and finally Lionel saw his chance. While eachloud voice. The voice member of his link family was holding tightly to the other to keep the chainbelonged to the strong, Lionel let go of his place in the chain.drawbridge master. When that happened, the bridge started hurtling downwards. Lionel’sHe was turning the family’s chain hung loose and broken.wheel hard, windingout the chain so thatthe drawbridge wouldlower. This is my chance!Lionel thought tohimself. When thedrawbridge lowers I’mgoing to pop out of thechain and jump ontothe drawbridge. Therest of the chain linkscan do the job; theydon’t need me. And so Lionel waited.It had to be just theright time before he letgo.
Lionel lay on the ground where he had fallen, looking up at the The horseman who hadbroken chain and the drawbridge that now hung dangerously over the wanted to cross the bridgewater. He was worried. Could it be that I was actually an important stared in astonishment atpart of the chain? he wondered. the spectacle. “My, my!” he exclaimed. “I wonder what happened!” He quickly jumped off his horse and ran to the drawbridge. He went to inspect the chain. He carefully examined all the links, until he found the place that was broken. Then he saw Lionel on the ground. He bent over and picked him up. “Tsk, tsk,” the man said. “You sure caused a great commotion for such a little link! Perhaps you haven’t realized how many others are depending on you.”