Saturday, 29 December 2012

LION AMONG CHEETAHS


LION AMONG CHEETAHS

Once upon a time there was an ungrateful lion. This lion was so ungrateful that he depressed everything around him. He was ungrateful about his family, in fact he blamed them the most for committing the biggest crime- that of bringing him into the world a lion. It was their fault he was born and a lion at that, their fault he had the looks of a lion, their fault he had to act like a lion and take responsibilities the way lions did therefore he totally refused to do anything that any self respecting lion was entitled to or was known for.

He hated having to work for what to eat hated the world for being what it was and yet any sort of change that affected him worsened his liking so he spent most days cursing and blaming life along with everything in it. He hated everything that tried to identify with what he was and so he had very few friends if you could count zero, he was not even a friend to himself. Most of his young days as a cub were spent in idling, cursing and sulking at the world. He was truly an impossible cub, a headache and burden to his parents, siblings and the rest of the animals of the wild at large. He was bound for trouble every one agreed. He was fast cutting out a straight road to disaster and doom, he almost enjoyed it.

He was master at hunger strikes, disliked everyone and everyone in turn loathed him. He became a plague and everyone fought to avoid him and his foul attitude. He was the first to desert the den, barely old enough to fend for himself but all the others thought it was good riddance. He unbelievably also hated the fact that he was a powerful species among wild creatures and scowled at the fact other animals were in awe of his abilities, to him he had none and despised the lions way of life. He often got his food through cheating and bullying others. He especially envied the cheetahs because they were faster than him and thus he maliciously befriended them so that he could exploit their abilities. He also started associating with the hyenas and like them would spend the day waiting for captured prey and scavenging and as a result he became greedy like them hungry for anything that crossed his path regardless of whether he had need for it. He became fat and lazy due to lack of exercise.

He also sought the company of the leopards who no choices but tolerate him due to his status in the jungle. The leopards were carefree, agile and cunning, they did whatever they chose, broke most of the jungle laws. He copied this and became a very bad example to the royal blood. He despised himself the more he deviated. His arrogance got him into a lot of trouble in that he even started invading man’s territory making himself a total menace and idiot. He preyed on the forbidden animals-the domestic creatures because they were easy prey and he enjoyed the fact that he could get away with his sick games. He despised man who was his greatest enemy and threat hence he could not get enough tricks to play on him. He was very selfish during hard times when food was scarce. Due to his dirty tricks he always had what to eat mostly gotten through stealing and raiding man’s traps and his domestic animals or when the worst came to the worst – begging.

When the animals came to him, he laughed in their faces and gave a mighty roar – the only thing he was proud of – sending them scampering off. Such was the life of our ungrateful lion but his thieving was not long to be tolerated and soon his conniving friends the hyenas and leopards ignored to warn him of the trap that man had set for him. He got himself snared in a net and promptly caught. He got the beating of his life which left him with many broken bones and time in a cell in the zoo next to a cage of annoying monkeys and nagging cell mates. Ungrateful as usual he‘d not allow to be treated until he was too weak to resist. When he got better he was so mad at his cell mates and disliked the keeper the worst. He became angrier each passing day which turned into months and then a year and still he raged on.

He was given his own cell and fed the worst food; he lost a lot of weight and became the talk of the zoo ridiculed by mostly the monkeys who laughed at his stupidity. He abused himself by lying around dung, lied to his neighbors and cheated them out of food until none could trust him so he starved a lot. He realised his cunning wont get him anywhere so he settled for sulking. He became a most wretched creature- hated, lonely, bored, bad-tempered, despised and malnourished, what a great lion he’d turned into indeed!
The monkeys cheered his majesty in his great palace.

As time passed it started weighing on him how despicable he had become so he cleaned up, started treating the keeper with wary politeness, allowed to be petted a few times and purred to show he liked it. Due to this improvement he started getting better food; his neighbors detected a change when he no longer raged at them although he still sulked a great deal. An old lion laughed at him and made jokes to provoke him but he was ignored until he gave up and realised the young was almost broken. So it came to be that when the old lion talked he listened but rarely participated in the conversation but in his heart for the first time he was grateful others were not so afraid and hateful of him. He quietened and grew strong and healthy; he delighted in the peace and being left alone although he always missed the freedom of the wild. With time on his side, he thought of all the wrongs and bad behavior he had relished and was so ashamed of himself.

During the third year of his prison life he was released when the keeper realised that he was pining after the wild and then came the hardest part of his life. None was glad to see him back; even the cheetahs and hyenas sensed a change in his old bad self so they stayed away. But lion was so happy to be free he did not mind any kind of attitude towards him which was largely enemity. He had a tough time fighting off fellow male lions for territory but he had an advantage of being stronger and better fed than most of the others so he lost no time in making his presence felt.  However all the years of doing nothing had softened him, he knew no honest lifestyle, he almost failed to get a mate but luckily some misfit of a lioness felt pity for him and taught him the rules of life. He also had  developed a keen insight, its like he was seeing things for the first time. He became very interested in how easily most creatures fell prey to their predators.

Mostly he was interested in the prey itself which included gazelles, antelopes, impalas. He did desire them differently, he admired their grace and beauty and pitied them for being easy prey to the cheetahs and most animals. He also observed how cheetahs were fast in pursuing their prey but as soon as they got what they wanted from the fallen animal, they off chasing another leaving the rest to the vultures and hyenas. Then lion also noticed that the cheetahs somehow knew how the gazelles behaved especially in groups and hence lost no time singling out those of their choice immediately signing their death warrant.

Those that survived longer were the loners that kept away from the herd and these became game for our lion. He no longer wanted to be like the cheetahs that predicted their game and made short chase. They no longer valued the meat, just the chase because they knew the prey was available in plenty. He was ashamed of what he’d been, like a hyena he’d waited for fallen prey and realised there was no satisfaction or pride in that and like cheetahs he’d been a mere conqueror, had basked in his conquests and now he had no self-esteem. Therefore he completely changed his game. He sought out those unique, tactful and clever ones that would provide the greatest challenge. Sometimes he’d chase one for a whole day almost giving up to pick easy prey but he’d remember the effort he’d already put in. was it all for nothing? And right back to the chase he’d go.

Whenever he managed to capture his prey which wasn’t always, he’d make sure he treated the meat with the utmost respect it deserves, feed himself until it was all gone. It was all his not to be shared with the likes of the hyenas and due to this, nature started being good to him and he was well provided for. Other animals began respecting him and some took up his example therefore more prey was spared the humiliation of falling to the teeth of base creatures like the hyenas and vultures that also started working on getting themselves food instead of nsegarizing , they had now turned bitter enemies of  the lion. Consequently easy prey became hard to come by. At last the lion was no longer worthless, he’d done the wild a good turn and he lived to be remembered for many generations to come.



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