Long, Long ago, in an age before the first human was born, the earth was young and wild. The Animals roamed freely across the land fighting each other, over food and territory. The Zebras waged war against the Lions, the Wolves against the elephants, the mice against the hares, the cats against the foxes and everything in between. One day a most grievous battle between the giraffes and the elephants killed seven deer, as collateral damage, Nature decided that enough was enough.
Nature came down from the heavens and called together the leader of the tribes of animals. She proclaimed that they were going to hold a competition to decide who would be the ruler of all the animals. The animals were shocked and outraged by this idea and they stated that they did not want a single ruler because they all were so different from each other and they had different needs.
The Alpha Wolf said, “How can we wolves have the same leader as the Zebras or the Hares? They are our prey and we will kill them and eat them! It is our nature, the way we were created. How can one king bring justice to us all?”
There were murmurings of agreement among all the gather animals. Nature replied, “Zebras are not a wolf’s natural prey, O Fierce Wolf Lord. As you are now you will tear the world apart with your squabbles. I have decided to bring order to the chaos that is this jungle. Each animal will have a natural prey and a natural predator. In this Nature will create a balance between life and death, chaos and order. But first we must determine the one on top of the chain. The rules of this contest are simple. I have hidden three Gold pendants around this jungle, whomsoever gains all three will be your king.”
Even though the animals tried to convince her further, she would not be moved. So all they animals scattered and searched for the treasures. The problem was that each animal would stop searching and fight as soon as they happened upon an enemy. All but the Pride Leader of the Lions. He was named Mustafa and he did not involve himself in petty squabbles. When the lions fought any other animals it was always at his wife’s (who was also his General) urging and for the purpose of food gathering. During most of the day he would rest, and then come out at night to idly wander the forest, searching for the treasure, but not desperately. Truth be told the Lion did not really want to King, but his wife nagged him if he didn’t at least make an effort. He was a very intelligent but lazy Lion, content to live in his cave with his family and do nothing notable for all his days. He just wanted to eat, sleep and protect his family.
On the fifth night, the lion was lazily loping along the riverside when he saw fish flopping on the shore gasping for breath. The lion was intrigued and so he went to investigate. He saw that the fish was a bright blue fish with dark patterns and that he was gasping for breath and unable to reach the water. Mustafa came forward and gently using he paw he sent the fish back into the water.
Mustafa was just about to turn away and continue his aimless roaming, when he was called back by the tinny voice of the fish he had just saved. “Thank you for saving me, Lord Lion. Please tell me if there is any way I can repay my debt to you?”
“You are welcome, but unless you have a pendant I do need anything.” the Lion said Semi-seriously, assuming that the fish wouldn’t have it. “Very well, my Lord, since you saved my life I shall give you the pendant that I have collected from the riverbed.”
And so the Lion gained a kingly pendant.
A few days later the Lion was sleeping, having been allowed a day off as his wife was very proud of his work at finding the pendant. He heard a screeching sound and then a thud. He got up and went outside his cave to look at what it was. He discovered an Eagle lying on the ground with a kingly pendant around its neck. The eagles’ wing looked broken. Though the Lion was happy to have found the first pendant he did not wish to collect any more as he had no desire to be king. So he sighed and picking up the eagle in his mouth her travelled to the Eagles’s home mountain and climbed as high as he could reach. He called out to the eagles and they came to collect their fallen brother. The Leader of the Eagles was the brother of the one the Lion had rescued and in his gratitude he insisted on giving the Lion the Gold pendant.
The Lion was flabbergasted at having collected two pieces without meaning to and knew that he needed to take drastic action to avoid becoming King and being saddled with immense responsibility his whole life.
The Lion considered who he could give his pendants to and who would be a good king, He thought of the Alpha wolf, and then discarded him due to his violent tendencies. He thought of the gentle Stag Leader and knew that he was not brave enough for the task. Similarly, the Fox leader was known to be a cheater and the Rabbit Leader was too unintelligent. He then thought of his good friend The Lear of the Elephant Herd, Alkhez, he was wise, strong, and kind, he would make the perfect king!
Hurriedly (before his wife saw him with two pendants and he somehow got saddled with being king), he went to find Alkhez. When Mustafa found him, Alkhez was leisurely grazing in the open fields. He was husge and dwarfed the large and graceful for of his Lion friend quite easily. When Musta ran into the clearing Alkhez was surprised but happy.
“Mustafa! I am glad to see you. I was meaning to go find you. I have something to give you.” said Alkhez.
“I am happy to see you as well, what did you have to give me?” Mustafa replied with puzzlement, momentarily forgetting his troubles.
And that was how he got saddled with the third pendant. Alkez and Mustafa argued for days and in the end, Mustafa was the one who chose to bear the responsibility of the pendants because he knew that since Alkhez did not want it, he was the only one capable.
The next day, Mustafa was crowned as the First Lion King. And that is how to this day the lions are the kings of the jungles across the earth