Trust Not Man

The majestic lion ruled over the forest, and all the animals and birds lived in peace under his rule. But then you see, the man had never set foot in this forest.

One night a goose in the forest had a bad nightmare. In its dream, it saw a man for the first time, and the man was smiling and beckoning the goose to come to him. But a voice warned the goose to run for its life, as the man was the wickedest animal on earth.

The goose woke up in terror and flew wildly about, trying to escape such a nightmare. It soon tired and landed, panting, close by the lion.

“Who are you, and why are you so scared?” roared the lion.

“I am just a goose, and I saw a man in a dream,” replied the goose. “But a voice warned me that man was wicked, so I am running away from him.”

The lion shook its mane. “I am your king and am here to protect you. Come with me, and I will show a supreme man.”

The two set off to find a man and met a donkey who seemed to be in great haste on the way.

“Whoa there! And where do you think you are going?” roared the lion.

“I am running away from man,” brayed the donkey. “He makes me carry heavy loads and beats me with a stick to make me go faster. So I am running away.”

“Come with us, and I will protect you,” roared the lion.

The donkey shook its head: “Maybe so, your majesty, but I prefer to run away.”

As the donkey trotted away, the lion and the goose continued searching for the man. A little later, a horse came galloping towards them.

“Stop, and tell us what is wrong with you.” roared the lion.

The horse slowed down to a trot. “I am running away from the man. All he wants to do is to sit on my back, hit me with a whip and goad me with his spurs, so I am running away, and I am not going to stop running.”

With that, the horse galloped on, and soon afterwards, a camel lumbered towards them.

The camel told the same story of man’s cruelty and strode away without noticing the lion’s assurances.

And then, who should they meet but handle himself, a carpenter, carrying his tools in a basket?

“Who are you, and where are you going?” roared the lion.

“I am a poor carpenter,” said the man meekly. “And I will build a house for your minister, the cheetah.”

“You will build a house for me first,” roared the lion. “Then afterwards, you can build one for my minister.”

So the carpenter set to work, cutting timber, sawing and hammering, whilst the lion and the goose sat nearby watching.

By the evening, the house was finished, and the carpenter invited the lion to try it for size. The lion proudly jumped inside, and with that, the carpenter slammed the door.

“Let me out,” roared the lion, smashing at the door with its mighty paws.

“Oh no!” replied the man smilingly. “I now have you in a cage, and I will sell you to a zoo or a circus. If you had any sense, you would have run away with the other animals.”

As long as it lived, the lion repented for its folly in trusting a man.

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