Omir the Storyteller

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Who's The King Of The Jungle?


It was a beautiful day in the jungle.

It was one of those days where the scent of the air, the calls of the birds, the buzzing of the insects abd the voices of the animals all combined to make a symphony of perfection.

It was one of those days that makes you feel good.

In fact it was making Lion feel better than good. Lion was feeling royal, and he decided he was going to go out and hobnob with his subjects. So he preened his mane just so, and he made sure that every hair on his body was just in place, and then he started struttin' down the road like he owned it. Which, if you're the King of the Jungle, I guess maybe you do.

So as he was struttin' down the road, all of the sudden he met up with Giraffe. And no sooner did he meet Giraffe than he asked her, point blank, "Who's the King of the Jungle?"

Giraffe froze in her tracks. This was not the behavior you expected from Lion. You expected to be chased or ignored, but not stopped on the road and asked questions.

"Ahhhhhh," Giraffe finally stammered uncertainly, "you are?"

"You got that right," Lion replied, and he struck a kingly pose, with all four paws on the ground and his head lifted nobly in the air, eyes firmly closed.

Giraffe wasn't sure what was going on here, but she was smart enough to recognize that when a lion is acting oddly and he gives you a head start by closing his eyes and striking a pose, maybe it's time to run for it. And that's what she did, taking off down a side path as fast as her long legs would gallop.

Lion dropped his pose and it was almost as if Giraffe had never been there at all. He just went back to struttin' down the road feeling all royal.

It wasn't long before Lion came across two hyenas in the middle of the road, squabbling over who got to pick the best bits off a scrap of meat they had scavenged. They looked up, and just as they saw Lion he asked them, "Who's the king of the jungle?"

The hyenas looked at each other, then at Lion, then at their meal, then at Lion again. Lions will sometimes try to steal a carcass from a hyena, and the hyenas thought they were on familiar ground here. They backed away from their meal, keeping their eyes on Lion.

He advanced, but paid no attention to the meat. "I said, who's the King of the Jungle?"

The two hyenas broke out into a nervous laugh and finally replied, "You are, yeah, you are, you!"

"Boo yeah," said Lion, and struck another pose, this one more royal than the first.

The hyenas, like Giraffe, weren't sure to make of this, but they knew whatever it was, it involved getting away from a Lion who was acting more strangely than usual. They hightailed it down another side path while Lion was busy posing.

When he was done with his pose Lion started down the road again, struttin' and feeling mighty fine that he was getting so much quality time with his subjects.

Then, as he turned a bend in the path, he saw Elephant's tail, which was busy keeping flies off the backside of Elephant. He could just barely see the other end of Elephant grabbing a tuft of grass for a snack.

"Who's the King of the Jungle?" Lion called out.

Elephant paid no attention to Lion, chewing his grass and then reaching down for another trunkful.

Hmmmm, thought Lion. I guess he didn't notice me. Lion went around to the other side of Elephant and called out again, "Who's the King of the Jungle?"

Elephant still just chewed his grass and didn't say anything.

Lion looked at Elephant's big ears, which were flat against his head, and thought, "Hmmm, I wonder if what we have here is a deaf Elephant." So Lion went over to Elephant's ear, raised the flap, and called out, right into Elephant's ear, "Who's the King of the Jungle???"

Elephant replied by grabbing Lion around the midsection with his trunk, lifting him up into the air and WHAM! throwing him to the ground and WHAM! lifting him up and throwing him down on the other side and WHAM! again and WHAM! WHAM! again and again. Then Elephant started down the path, careful as he passed to step on Lion's mane -- not hard, but just enough to add a little insult to the injury.

Lion lay there in a daze, watching Elephant's tail disappear down the path, and just before Elephant was completely out of sight, he found enough breath to call out, "If you didn't know the answer you could have just said so!!"