Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Microstory 1283: The Lion and the Turkey

In the animal preserve, all the animals got along. The predators were given meat by the humans, so the prey no longer felt that they were in danger. A sort of society formed amongst just the animals. They didn’t have a democracy, per se, and they certainly didn’t know how to vote, but they did sort of agree to let the lion rule over them, to some degree. The truth was that there weren’t a whole lot of decisions that these animals needed to make, since the humans took care of pretty much everything, but they liked to feel that they were at least somewhat independent. After all, this was something they could not get in the wild. The lion would never rule over anything, as he would have naturally eaten half of everything in there, and the other half if times were tough. This was something special. One tradition they began was to have the lion walk across the courtyard in front of everyone at the beginning of every day. The humans were not yet awake, so they would not see how strange and out of character this was. It was a vain and pointless ceremony, but they did it, because again, there wasn’t much else. During one such of these walks, the turkey made a rude comment about him under his breath. He was tired of being ruled by the lion, and didn’t think it was fair. The lion heard what he had said, and turned to face his detractor. The prey close enough to hear it spread word to the others, and everyone guessed that the turkey would be eaten for his insolence. The predators snickered, for most of them guessed the lion wouldn’t even bother with the turkey. He was a silly little creature, and surely not worth the lion’s time. But they were all wrong. The lion stared at the turkey for what seemed like ages. Then he placed a paw on his shoulder, and ushered him away from the crowd. “Come, my friend,” the lion said. “We should discuss your grievances. What good am I as a leader if I do not listen to those I lead? If something should be changed, we will change it.”

This story was inspired by, and revised from, an Aesop Fable called The Lion and an Ass.

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