Fable: The Story of a Lion

He Tong

PureInsight | September 16, 2007

[PureInsight.org] A long time
ago. there was a group of lions that were trapped in a zoo. They came
from the great prairie of Africa and were used to the leisure and free
life in the wild. Life in cages made them often depressed and crazy and
only in dreams after being tired, could they see their long lost home.
Time passed bit by bit, and some lions died of depression, while other
lions survived and gradually got used to life in cages. Home started to
become a vague image in their memories and some lions even sealed off
this piece of memory altogether.

When the lions stopped resisting and protesting, the zoo sold them to a
circus group where people treated them with whips and electric batons
to tame them. The lions tried to maintain their last bit of dignity by
fighting violently because they still remembered that they were once
the king of all the kings on the great African prairie. The people in
the circus put them in cages and did not provide food and water. When
they became weak, the trainers opened the door and placed a piece of
meat in another cage. A hungry lion entered the other cage with its
feeble body and quickly finished eating the meat. The trainer then gave
the lion another piece of meat and repeated this three times. The lion
finished all the meat and looked at the trainer with his eyes full of
gratitude. Since then, that lion became so obedient on the stage
following the trainers' commend and it never suffered from starvation
because of that. However, the other lion that did not accept the
temptation of food was led to another room. The trainer wanted to send
it back to the zoo, but the lion was so weak that the trainer killed
the lion and secretly buried it because he did not want his brutal
behavior exposed to public.

The lion in the circus gradually became old and a young lion was born.
The old lion didn't tell the little lion about the prairie but,
instead, that if it were not for the trainer, they wouldn't have the
kind of life they had that day and that the outside world was a scary
place and only in the cage was it safe. The trainer continued to train
the little lion that lived in the cage from its youth and listened
obediently. He remembered every sentence the old lion told him. One
day, the brutal actions of the trainer were discovered and exposed to
the public. The government put him in prison for six months and his
license as a trainer was suspended. The little lion had a chance to
return to nature. The old lion had died already and the little lion
came to the African prairie, feeling helpless and scared. He felt
danger everywhere. Although other lions were surprised by his
appearance, they treated him with their primary formality. At the
beginning, the little lion tried to avoid everybody, he even wanted to
find something like a cage to get in. He didn't even know what he
should do and just waited for a command all the time.

Finally, one day, a wise lion on the prairie got to know the little
lion's experience and hoped to help him to get used to the live on
prairie he belonged to. The wise lion knew that there was an invisible
shackle on the little lion's leg that made him used to being jailed and
controlled. The wise lion wanted the little one to be able to run
freely and play on the prairie as other lions of same age, but the
little lion always stared at the wise lion with his eyes filled with
fear. The little lion did not believe anybody outside of the circus.

Time passed by gradually. Watching other young lions playing on the
prairie, the little lion sensed a strange feeling he never ever had

He did not know what that was, but he knew he wanted it. So, he took
his first step, following behind other little lions. Gradually, he got
acquainted with another young lion that in turn got to know the reason
behind the little lion's "strange behavior" through his experience. So,
he told the little lion that the circus was a place where people used
animals to entertain themselves and it was a jail like hell where lions
were only a tool for entertainment with no freedom and dignity. Upon
hearing this, the little lion was a little angry because that was a
place where he was born, grew up and was provided with food and
shelter. It was much better than the prairie with no fixed source of
things and shelter to block wind and rain.

The little lion that grew up on the prairie asked: "Do you know the joy
of hunting for prey? Do you know how to use your claws and the deep
roar of lion? Do you know that everywhere on the prairie is your home?
Do you know the jumping antelopes, galloping wild horses and the
giraffe with a long neck? Do you know that you are a lion?

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