It was that time of the year when the animals of a jungle had to choose their king. After several rounds of discussions it came down to choosing between a wise old owl and a burly lion.
The hyenas, foxes, coyotes and the vultures were highly in favor of a tawny lion being crowned the new king. This particular lion came from a dynasty of rulers, and lived in a pride with his mother and sister.
Just look at him cooed the peacock, “He already has the looks of a king!” The wolf grinned and said encouragingly, “Yes. And he will look after us all very well.” The bear agreed saying he can't think of any other animal with a more casual, uninterested attitude towards power so he must be the right one to take the coveted king's role.
The deer, elephants, rhinos, rabbits and other animals were a worried lot. They felt the wise old owl with his wit and wisdom was a better choice. The jackals laughed at them, “The owl is a bad choice. He is perched high up on a tree far away from rest of us. He is neither the strongest nor does he come from an illustrious family like our lion.” The fox agitatedly exclaimed, “He is no intellectual for we call him an Ulloo (Hindi); a Goobe (Kannada) – a dolt”
The gentle giraffe was thoughtful for a while and said, “The wise old owl stays up all night, he isn’t impulsive, and can inform us against untimely attacks. Maybe you aren’t able to relate to him but he can strike the perfect balance between the powerful and the meek”
The senior jackal solemnly said, “Man, himself, certifies the lion as the king of the jungle. And so it shall be.” The fawns cried indignantly, “But the man is not even a stakeholder of the jungle!” Their cries went unheard as the coterie of the jackals had started hailing the half-grown lion as their hero.
Disclaimer: This post is unrelated to the upcoming Indian elections #Elections2019
A short fable inspired by the Hitopadesha
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