Friday, March 12, 2010

Fable of the Sleeping Lion

Once there was a lion who lived in a cage in a wilderness. He did not like living in a cage, but he was put in the cage by his master.

He was strong and he used to run free, but now he was in a cage. The master fed the lion food to make him sleep. Soon the lion began to like sleeping. He would sleep all day. Visitors came to the cage and wondered why this lion was sleeping all day.

The master had trained the lion so that he never growled anymore--he just slept all the time. He even had a sleepy look on his face when he was awake. Some people called him Sleepy. Sleepy wake up!

Don't bother me, he said, can't you see I'm sleeping?

One day Sleepy's friend, another lion, escaped from the cage next to Sleepy's. Sleepy could have escaped too, but he was busy sleeping. And when he got up and found the other lion gone, he was very angry. I'll never sleep again, he said. I'll never sleep again!

Now when it came time to eat, the master got angry because Sleepy wouldn't eat the food that made him sleep. Sleepy wasn't a fool!

The master couldn't understand his lion. Eat! the master told Sleepy. Sleepy growled for the first time in a long time. The master jumped back he was so shocked.

The master got his whip and went into the cage. Eat! he said, cracking the whip over Sleepy's head. Sleepy growled, turned and ran to the master and began eating him to death....
--Marvin X

The Parable of the Sleeping Lion was published in Black World magazine, June, 1970. It was published in Woman, Man's Best Friend by El Muhajir/Marvin X, Al Kitab Sudan Press, 1973

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