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The Unicorn and the Lion
When a lion roars, the earth quakes and the animals begin to tremble. If a herd of springboks tussle around at dusk by a watering hole, it is not unusual that they become surrounded by their greedy predators
When a lion roars, the earth quakes and the animals begin to tremble. If a herd of springboks tussle around at dusk by a watering hole, it is not unusual that they become surrounded by their greedy predators. When the lions pounce in attack, it is already too late for many of their prey. However, once a lion loses its pride, he has to go it alone and his luck lessens day by day.
Wandering around half starving for a number of days, one such lion happened upon a hill.
'All roared out, dear lion! It seems to me that your hunger has made you so stupid that you wouldn't even be able to sniff out a tiny fox,' a unicorn called out to him all of a sudden.
'If that's how you feel, perhaps I'll make you my next meal!' responded the lion with a threatening snarl.
But the unicorn had crept into a crevice in the rocks that was too narrow for the lion.
'Poor lion!' sympathised the unicorn. 'I believe I have the remedy to your misery. I invite you to play a board game with me. If you win, I'll feed you to your heart's content with only the best meat — and afterwards you will be free to leave. However, if you lose, I will still let you eat your fill — but afterwards you will serve me for the rest of your days.'
The lion agreed immediately, already frantic with hunger.
The unicorn lead the lion to his dwelling, offered him a bowl of water and fetched the board game. As soon as the pieces had been set, they both began to play.
One can surely guess how it panned out, with the poor, starving lion incapable of thinking clearly. Despite this, he remained in good spirits because he knew that either way, he was about to have a good meal.
After the unicorn beat him, he was lead to a chamber in which a huge mountain of meat awaited him. The lion ate and ate and became rounder and heavier and lazier, until he was tame as a lap dog — always at the unicorn's beck and call. Soon he was even too weak to roar and only whimpered and blinked lazily at the unicorn.
After one year of this comfortable imprisonment, the day arrived when a faint bleat issued forth from the lion's chamber.
The unicorn cried out in shock, 'Did I turn him into a lamb with my ignorant foolishness? Soon his tail will shrink and sheep's wool will adorn it.'
The unicorn contemplated for a moment and then recognised the damage his own lust for power had caused. 'I have made a terrible blunder!' cried the unicorn. 'I have turned a once noble king of the desert into a lowly pet!'
Tears of regret blurred the unicorn's sight. Without understanding, and with an enormous yawn, the lion groaned, 'Please let me stay, because surely life can't get any better than this.'