Back in the bad old early days of the Roman Empire (so the story goes), in an age where a runaway slave could be punished for the offence of 'stealing themself' from their rightful owner, such a Christian slave named Androcles fled from his master. While on the run he sheltered overnight in a cave, which he was alarmed to find he was sharing with a lion. The lion had a thorn in its paw, and, far from attacking him, approached Androcles hoping he could help pull out the thorn using his more delicate hands, then clean and dress the wound. Androcles did this and in due course they went their ways. He was later captured and sent to the Coliseum (Rome's major entertainment stadium) to be put to death as part of a public spectacle, as was also an accepted custom in those days. What happened next?
He was killed in unarmed combat against a trained gladiator
Androcles was killed by lions very like the one he had befriended
There was a 'round' of 'Christians versus wild animals', on the assumption that the defenceless Christians would be killed and devoured in front of the audience. But the lion facing Androcles was his old friend, recognised him and defended him from all the other animals, to the surprise and delight of the audience
The sky went dark (a solar eclipse) and the Romans thought this was a sign of their gods' anger, so they fled out of the auditorium and Androcles never had to face the challenge