The Elderly Lion

A very Elderly Lion, weakened by old age and old injuries, could no longer hunt for his food. He lived for a while on grass and berries, but this made him grow still weaker. He decided to use his brain to take what he could not get by force.

The Elderly Lion lay down in his den. He told every animal and bird who passed by that he was very sick. The animals all got the news of Elderly Lion’s illness, and came one by one to visit him. Squirrel came, bringing fresh grasses and berries. Squirrel was not seen after that. Dove came, bringing more fresh grasses and berries. Dove was not seen after that. More animals went to visit the Elderly Lion, and it became clear that animals were disappearing.

Fox thought about the situation. He decided to go and visit the Elderly Lion. He went to the Elderly Lion’s den and stood outside at a respectful distance. “How are you feeling today?” Fox asked.

“Not well, not at all well,” said the Elderly Lion. “But why do you stand there outside? Please—come inside and visit with me for a while.”

“No thank you,” said Fox. “I notice that there are many footprints leading into your den, but I see no trace of any leading out.”