A King and His Water

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It was no coincidence that the Lion, King of the Forest, encountered a Leopard at the river. He lounged upon a warm rock and looked at the newcomer. “Say, you Leopard. I have heard of you lately, drinking freely the water here since yesterday eve. Why do you drink my water without my sanction?” The Leopard took a long drink, before raising his head. “Is it not so, that the river flowed before you or I both? What then, makes it yours to dictate?”
The Lion stood tall and proud, laughing at the Leopard’s audacity. “You surely are a stranger, not knowing that I am King here, and ordain who may drink.” The Leopard rose from another mouthful. “On whose authority are you King?”
“My own, of course.”
“Then you are no king.”
“And why is that?”
“I could say I am the king just now. Would it make me?”
“No! For I am the King, and you are simply a water-thief!”
“So I am.” The Leopard took another lengthy drink as the Lion hopped down from his rock. The Leopard strode some into the water with the Lion’s approach.
“Remove me from your water then, if you can, O King. Unless you are loath to imposing your laws yourself.”
Now the Lion lunged forth, but the Leopard sprang aside. The Lion landed in the deep of the river, and the current took him. Then the Leopard drank his fill.






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