The lion told the woodpecker what the matter was, and the woodpecker said: “I would take the bone out of your throat, buddy, but I don’t dare to put my head into your mouth, for fear I might never get it out again. I’m afraid you might eat me.”
“I will see what I can do for you,” said the woodpecker. “Open your mouth wide.” The lion did as he was told, but the woodpecker said to himself. “Who knows what this lion will do? I think I will be careful.”
Then the woodpecker hopped into the lion’s mouth and hit the end of the bone with his beak. The second time he hit it, the bone fell out.
The woodpecker hopped out of the lion’s mouth and hit the stick so that it too fell out. Then the lion could shut his mouth.
“Do something for you?” said the lion. “You mean you want me to do something more for you. I have already done a great deal for you. You cannot expect me to do anything more for you. Don’t forget that once I had you in my mouth, and I let you go. That is all that you can ever expect me to do for you.”