Once upon a time there lived a wicked lion who was very proud of his strength. He would kill any animal which came in his way just for fun. All the animals in the forest were worried about their survival.
“If the lion continues killing like this, none of us will be left in the forest,” said the bear.
“He kills much more than he really needs to,” said the little hare.
“We have to do something to stop this massacre,” said the monkey. So they all joined together and went to meet the lion.
“O king of the forest, we have come to make a small request,” they all said to the lion.
“Now what would that be?” asked the amused lion.
“You are the king of the forest, but soon there will be no animals to rule over. So we beg you to stop this unreasonable killing and we promise that one of us will come to you every day for your food,” said all the animals to the lion.
So from that day, the animals drew lots to decide on who was to go to the lion to be eaten by him.
One day, the hare drew the lot to visit the lion. All the animals consoled him and sent him on his way to meet his doom. But the hare was a clever animal. He did not want to die at the hands of the cruel lion. He saw an old well on the way. It was very deep and was a danger for all the animals. He thought of a plan.
The little hare went to sleep near the well all day. In the evening, he made his way to the lion’s den. The lion was terribly hungry by then and when he saw a tiny hare coming towards him, he became furious.
“You little thing, how dare you come so late? How dare they send such a small animal? I will kill them all,” the angry lion roared.
“It is not my fault, O mighty lion. There were three other hares with me. But on the way here, another lion attacked us. I just managed to escape. The other three hares were eaten by that lion,” said the hare.
“What? Another lion in my jungle? Take me to him immediately,” said the lion angrily.
The hare took the lion to where they could see the well. “The other lion jumped out at us from inside the well when we tried to drink some water”, he said. The lion rushed angrily to the well and peeped in.
There inside the well he could see another lion’s face. What the foolish lion did not realise was that he was looking at his reflection. He roared angrily at the ‘other lion’. He heard an answering roar.
It was only the echo of his own roar. But the lion thought that the ‘other lion’ was challenging him. He jumped in and landed inside with a loud splash. And that was the end of the wicked lion.