Lion, Eage and Scorpion - a fable
By Andrea M. Chester
This month, I want to tell you a little fable. Like Aesop’s fables for children, this one has a moral, but I want YOU to supply the ending. Now, for our fable.
Once upon a time, in a garden far away, there lived a lion and an eagle. Because they were mighty and intelligent creatures, the owner gave them a special job; they were allies in keeping the garden safe for all the creatures living there. The eagle, from his post high above the earth, could see threats from far away, and alert everyone to find shelter. The lion, with his mighty jaws and fierce claws, looked so imposing that he seldom had to use his formidable strength.
One day, a scorpion crept up to the eagle’s nest. “Sir,” he said, “We have a problem. The lion acts like he’s better than everyone else. His lair is so nice and comfortable, and we have only the dusty places over there by the rocks. We have to work so hard, and all the lion does is lie around in his den and talk to his cubs about following the rules. Who does he think he is, the king or something? It isn’t fair. Tell him to give us a little bit of his land, and share his food, so we won’t have to work so hard.”
Then, the representative walked right up to the eagle and flicked his tail, driving his sting straight into the soft place between the eagle’s toes.
“Ow! What did you do that for?” the eagle howled, dancing around in pain.
“Just making my point very clear,” the scorpion replied, scuttling away.
Now the eagle and lion had been friends for quite a while. He knew that the keeper had designated a large den for the lion and that the lion and his family tried hard to keep all the owner’s rules. The scorpion’s request wasn’t really reasonable, but now the eagle, who used to be afraid of nothing, was scared of the scorpion’s sting. Perhaps this plan would benefit all the smaller animals, as well as keep the scorpion from stinging him again…. Maybe the lion could just share, and everything would be peaceful again….
The lion saw that the eagle thought this plan could restore harmony. He knew that the Owner of the garden had given him the lair, and that he had given each animal family rules to live by. He knew that this was against the rules. But, in concession to all the smaller living things, he agreed to give them a corner of his favorite sleeping quarters, as well as the right to eat the scraps of his meals.
Sometimes the scorpion babies stung him, but the adults always insisted that it was an accident, and probably even self-defense. If the lion roared in pain, the beasts told him to practice restraint in his living habits. After all, the scorpions deserved a good life, too.
Everyone was terrified of the scorpions. They infiltrated every home, nest, burrow, and den in the whole garden, and they stung without warning. The animals kept telling the lion to give more and more of his home to the scorpions, mostly because everyone was scared that the scorpions would come live with THEM if they didn’t get their way.
Both the lion and the eagle were covered with sore places from the sting of the scorpions, and sometimes they were so sick that they couldn’t keep watch over the garden. The lion slept alone, in a tiny corner of his den. His family moved out of the lair, and his cubs fought among themselves, because they didn’t have the wise guidance of their father anymore. The lion and his good friend, the eagle, even started to argue. The entire garden was in disarray, filled with weeds where once there were flowers and fruit trees in bloom.
Yet, the scorpions kept asking for more and more. In fact, now they were planning to go to the eagle and demand that the lion leave the garden forever….
And now, dear readers, the ending of the story is up to you.
What do you think the Owner of the garden will say, when he returns to find his garden in such sad shape?
Since all of the creatures knew the rules to begin with, what do you think the Owner will say to the scorpion? To the eagle? To the lion?
How do you think the eagle and lion should respond to the scorpion?
I look forward to hearing from you!