A Tale of a Lion

or

A Lesson on Foreign Policy

lion

Long, long ago on the plains of Africa, there lived an especially massive lion, whom all the beasts quickly learned to fear; even more so than other fierce, male lions with awesome manes. Not only was his magnificent mane and earth-shattering roar awfully impressive, to say the least, but his size was tremendous: he was nearly twice the size of the average male lion!

He lived in perfect peace for several years with his mate, bringing up several fine sets of cubs in the very best territory for miles and miles around. Because of his massive size and powerful muscles, no other lion dared to attack either the Lion of lions, or his mate, or his cubs. Neither did any other animals of the plains. Even elephants, who generally did not fear lions, fled when his thundering footsteps alerted them to his presence.

The Lion grew prouder and prouder over the years, and he had reason to be—his size and muscle only increased over time, not diminished. When he occasionally heard of lions beyond his realm warring and killing each other for territorial rights and such, he knew beyond a doubt that none of these things would ever bother or concern him. No strange lion ever dared so much as poke his head into the Lion’s turf.

Yet as time wore on, he began to take interest in the sparrings of the lions beyond his borders. He listened with interest whenever any news came of the doings of other prides. And at last he decided that he was so wise and invincible that he would actually cross over and “settle” disputes! He would punish the trouble-makers and reward those whom he considered to be in the right.

Whenever he went out looking for fights to end, the grateful lions who were lucky enough to have the Lion on their side would win (obviously) and then bow down and do whatever the Lion would command. He was in control of virtually the whole land after several years of this. His “peacekeeping” missions did occasionally turn disastrous though; sometimes the lion he helped win and become the leader of a particular pride would go on to become a terror to all the land, including an annoyance to the Lion himself! Then the Lion would be obliged to crush the terrorist regime and appoint a new leader in the region.

His peacekeeping missions became more and more frequent, until he found that he was nearly always away from home. It was so intrguing showing off his prowess and might! It gave him thrills. His mate and cubs were very proud of their famous husband and father, and they beamingly told him, in reference to his foreign exploits, their slogan: “For our pride. For us all.” They did not keep close tabs on where he went all the time; they just assumed he was out stopping terrorism.

The Lion began meddling, not only in other prides’ affairs, but also in the affairs of every animal on the plain. They all grew to hate the Lion then! Cheetahs, antelopes, giraffes, rhinos, hyenas, emus, vultures, gazelles, impalas, buffalo, leopards, jackals, bats, and even elephants! All were affected and ruled over by the apparent wisdom and generosity that flowed from the Lion.

This went on for some time until matters became unbearable to the micromanaged animals.

The elephants, the cheetahs, and the buffalo secretly met in a concealed shady grove to conspire to do away with the meddling tyrant.

“I could never face him in a fight,” bellowed the largest buffalo, a huge bull. “Even all of us together could never actually kill him.”

“He’s a beast, always meddling in our own affairs,” mourned a female elephant. “Elephant affairs are not for lions to decide!”

“We can’t take him on,” pondered a wise cheetah quietly, “but we all hate him enough that I think we would be willing to risk a little bit, at least.”

“What do you mean?” asked the bull.

“I mean, let’s go and kill his own mate and cubs, which are more manageable, and then maybe he’ll learn that he should mind his own business; you know, attend to his own family affairs.”

“It could work,” said a large male elephant. “It’s worth a try, anyway. Who’s going with me?”

“I certainly will,” answered the cheetah. “It’s our patriotic duty. We will buck his tyranny from all the animals of the plain!”

Together the appointees made their sneaking way to the Lion’s comfortable den from the rear. First they cautiously checked out the surrounding area. As expected, the Lion was away from the den. But his dozing mate and wrestling cubs were certainly at home. The attackers crept stealthily forward, concealing themselves by slow, deliberate movement through the tall African grasses, shrubs, and withered trees, displaying their mangled roots.

With lightning speed the invaders leaped forward and quickly surrounded the surprised cubs. With the element of surprise on their side, they were able to swiftly kill four of the youngest cubs, and maim six of the older ones. At this point the mother lion awoke.

She jumped to her feet, white with fury. She bravely flew at the cheetah first, killing him instantly as her lethal teeth sank into his spotted throat. Then she turned to face the other attackers. But they had had enough of a fight. The remaining elephant, three bulls, and the mate of the killed cheetah precipitately fled, disappearing into the endless plain.

The Lion learned of the fatal attack later that day, and rushed home to his family, heartbroken.

His mate grimly told him of the tragic events that had unfolded that afternoon, and sorrowfully showed him the four young cubs whose lives had been ended.

Then the Lion knew why it had happened, and he mournfully bowed his head in grief.

His bewildered young cubs asked repeatedly, “How could any animals muster the courage to attack us? How could they be so heartless? We didn’t do anything to them first. . .”

The Lion did not reply, for he knew the answer.

Had he been quietly at home, his family would never have been slain. He could have easily protected his home turf. In fact, had he been there, instead of dominating other animals’ affairs and conflicts, no animal would have dared, much less considered it their patriotic duty, to kill the Lion’s family. But the Lion was gone in far away lands, and a sizable part of his family was slain that afternoon.

We would like to say that the Lion learned his lesson and tended to his own affairs after this, but who knows? When will Americans stop asking the question, like the young cubs, “Why do the Islamic jihadists hate us so much? Why are they willing to attack the richest, most powerful nation on earth? Why did 9/11 happen?”

The answer is, fellow Americans, we have driven them to it with our destructive interventionist policies.

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