How Lion lost his Title as the King of the Jungle
A long time ago, in a jungle in Africa, Lion claimed the title of the King of the forest. Some animals who were too scared of the Lion to speak up agreed that he should be their King, but others did not quite see why he should be King.
“He’s nothing but an old bully,” said Monkey from high up in his favourite tree. He looked right and left to ensure that Lion was not close enough to hear him.
“I agree! He’s just a vain old bully.” The Tortoise whispered because he was scared the Lion might hear him.
One sunny day, soon after the Lion declared himself King of the jungle, Mrs. Elephant decided to walk down her favourite path to one of the watering holes that had not been dried out by the scorching heat. She loved the trail because it was lined with tall leafy trees, which kept her cool as she walked toward the watering hole. Mrs. Elephant was looking forward to drinking some water and splashing some over herself to cool off. She was also excited when she imagined herself rolling in the mud by the watering hole. She had come a long way through the forest and was determined to treat herself to some fun time by the watering hole.
As she made her way through the narrow path, she came across Lion, who was also strolling from the opposite side of the track. Now the path was so narrow that the two animals could not walk past each other because of the large old trees that lined both sides of the path.
The Lion was the first to see the Elephant, and he growled in annoyance because he was hungry and on his way to his favourite grass plain to wait for an animal to prey on for lunch.
“Out of my way, you big for nothing Elephant!” he growled angrily at Mrs. Elephant.
Mrs. Elephant raised her trunk, surprised by Lion’s rudeness. She lifted her trunk in up the air.
“Why are you so rude?” Mrs. Elephant asked, feeling rather cross. She raised her head and saw that she was almost at the end of the path. She could almost smell the cool water while the Lion was closer to the beginning of the path towards the grassy plain at the other end from where Mrs. Elephant was coming.
“You should step back and let me through since I’m almost at the end of the path, and you just started….” She tried to reason with Lion.
“How dare you speak to me like that? How dare you ask the King of the jungle to step back for you?” Lion could barely contain his temper. He had always hated the fact that he could not subdue the Elephant, the way he could other animals. She was simply too large for him.
“Get out of my path. Make way for your King!” the Lion roared as loud as he could to intimidate the Elephant.
“No, you get out of my path.” the Elephant trumpeted louder than Lion’s roar.
The two animals stood face to face, staring angrily at each other and blocking the path. Neither wanted to move for the other.
Soon, smaller animals like the Tortoise, whose shell protected him from being an easy prey to the Lion and Monkey, who could swing from tree to tree and stay safely away from the hungry Lion, decided to intervene as the Lion and the Elephant continued to glare at each other.
“There’s about to be a showdown between the Lion and the Elephant!” The Monkey screeched, swinging from tree to tree. This brought other animals scurrying up to watch the big showdown between the two large animals. Some animals even began to place bets. Some thought Lion would surely defeat the Elephant in a fight-off, while others believed that the Elephant would surely destroy the Lion.
“Wait! Everybody listen! I have an idea.” Tortoise said at the top of his voice. “There’s an easy way for us to determine once and for all who should be King of the jungle.
The Lion roared angrily at the Tortoise for suggesting anyone else could be King of the jungle.
“I am the King of the jungle. Who dares to challenge me?” Roared the Lion. Most of the smaller animals shuddered, and some scurried away, frightened because they had never seen Lion that angry.
“Seriously?” Asked Elephant. “Is that what this is about? By the way, who crowned you King? By whose authority do you reign as King?” The Elephant trumpeted back at him, and a sudden hush fell over the forest.
“I am the king because I say so!” The Lion beat his chest as if to show his majesty.
“Listen, everybody. This is not the place or time for us to decide who is truly the King of the jungle.” The Tortoise, who did not quite like the arrogant Lion, said. “Let’s come up with a simple solution to the immediate problem of who should make way for the other along this path.”
“Yes!” said Monkey, who was again swinging from tree to tree as he made his way back to where the two large animals were still standing. Monkey was smart enough to keep out of Lion’s way as he clung to a vine on a tall tree.
“Let’s settle this with a simple tug of war.” The Monkey said as he dropped the vine and quickly leapt up the tree out of harm’s way. Lion and Elephant each grabbed an end of the vine. They were impatient to settle the matter once and for all.
Lion grabbed one end with his strong teeth while Elephant coiled the other end of the vine around her mighty trunk. Just as they began to pull, a loud cracking sound came from high and beyond the tall leafy trees. The sound was followed by a bright flashing spark of light, which seemed to split the sky open, and rain began to pour.
As the first drops of rain landed on Lion’s beautiful mane, he dropped the vine, turned and ran for cover towards the bush!
The Elephant and the other animals looked at him amazed, but Tortoise, who was a keen observer, burst into laughter.
“He claims he is the king of the jungle, but he is so vain, he can’t stand a few drops of the rain on his mane.”
“My mane, my beautiful mane. I combed it as smooth as silk this morning!” Lion cried as he stood shivering under a large leaf of a banana tree.
“Elephant is the winner!” Screamed Monkey. “She doesn’t mind getting wet.”
The Elephant looked amazed as she watched the Lion, who was now beating a quick retreat through the thickest part of the woods. She smiled, but she was humble enough to admit to the others that she was actually grateful for the rain because she was on her way to a watering pool to cool off.