The Lion Cometh (4)


When I was a child in England my mother always had a tin of Lyle’s Golden Syrup in her kitchen, she used it in her baking and desserts and also for spooning into my mouth when I was too raucous or running in circles craving sweetness. I remember it looking similar to honey although not tasting as good.

But it was the drawing on the tin and the words under the drawing that really fascinated me. Was the lion dead or only sleeping? Was the cloud of insects a swarm of flies or bees or ? Were the insects real or was the lion dreaming them? And what could the words possibly mean?

LionessWatching 2Cubs

I hadn’t thought of this for decades but in putting this series of posts together and exploring lion connections it emerged again from the deep caves of memory – hence the last two lines of my poem in the last post.

Wikipedia informs me that, “Out of the strong came forth sweetness” is a reference to the Biblical story in chapter 14 of the Book of Judges in which Sampson was traveling in search of a wife. During the journey he killed a lion, and when he passed the same spot on his return he noticed that a swarm of bees had formed a comb of honey in the carcass. Samson later turned this into a riddle at a wedding: “Out of the eater came forth food and out of the strong came forth sweetness”.

Mother-and-Lion-Cub tongue

Now, I know and love riddles but to call this a riddle is sweetly unfair. A true riddle needs to be able to be solved by wit and intelligence. However; the answer to Sampson’s ‘riddle’ could only come from someone who was with him when he found the honeyed lion, and, as far as I know, he was alone.

Any other riddlers out there? If so – am I right about this one?

Lioness & her cub, during a break from their mid-day cat nap

If you want to know why Abram Lyle used this as a slogan on his syrup tin you’re just going to have to Google or guess it.

If you want to know why I have used photos of mother lions with cubs – read the words on the tin again…


Now here’s a real riddle, easy-peasy but the answer is appropriate to my sun sign : Give me food, and I will live; give me water, and I will die. What am I?

What’s your favorite riddle? – send it in and see if we are able to solve it…

Love, art rat

art rat image with pa#10EDE

All photos credit to Wikipedia and Google Images. First Lioness and cub photo thanks to / Lioness licking cub photo thanks to / Third lioness with cub photo thanks to / Final lioness and cub photo thanks to

This series of posts are a celebration of my astrological sun sign, Leo, in  words, images and music…


13 thoughts on “The Lion Cometh (4)

  1. What a nice posting! Lovely, out of the strong came sweetness 🙂 Those lions are cute!
    Your riddle: fire? But the food would be wood I suppose. I don’t know any riddles and it is too hot to think of them.
    Lovely style of upbringing you got. My mother gave me cognac to rinse painfull teeth 🙂 I never spit it out.
    Have a good weekend! 🙂


    1. Yes, Ina, fire is the answer, A+. I also had painful teeth, due to the constant input of Golden Syrup no doubt. If cognac had been the cure I would have feigned pain and certainly would never have spit it out either. Now I can’t afford cognac, even for pleasure!


  2. Neat story, plus you made me have to google the lion story…Never knew that about the sweetness and the lion…:)


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