‘or a dwindling assortment of animals’ as Lucy Ruth Cummins’s picture book is also called. (Or ‘cute’ and ‘dark’ from the quote on the cover of this innocent looking little book.)
Is it trickery? Or is it a bit like Little Red Riding Hood? We all know children’s books are darker than adults tend to think children can cope with. (I once listened incredulously as the mother of Offspring’s friends changed the ending of Red Riding Hood. I thought she was reading an unusual version, until it dawned on me that she couldn’t allow her darlings to hear about characters being eaten, so altered the plot mid-read.)
There is a lion. And there are several other animals. The lion is hungry. The others disappear. You judge for yourself what you think happened.
There might be a comeuppance.
It is actually both sweet, and funny, if the child you are reading to has the normal toughness you find in quite small children.
Or, I suppose there could be a perfectly logical explanation to it all.