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A mighty lion once ruled his forest like a dictator. All the other animals in the forest were scared of him, and rightfully so.
One day the lion called all the animals together for their annual meeting and ordered, “Someone go into my cave and inspect it, and tell me what you think.”
No one volunteered. Angrily the lion shouted, “If no one volunteers, then I will pick one!” He pointed to a small rabbit shivering in fright. The rabbit hopped into the cave only to come back with a grimace on his face.
“My Lord, your cave stinks of rotten flesh and blood. You are badly in need of a good housekeeper,” the rabbit said, thinking the lion would reward his honesty.
“Insult me will you?” the lion roared in fury and swallowed the tiny rabbit down. Glub! Glub! Glub!
“Who wants to go next?” the lion asked.
The stupid donkey, confused by the situation, summoned up some courage and inquired, “Go where my lord?”
“Inside my cave you silly donkey! Go now!” the lion ordered.
Trembling in fear and dragging his feet, the donkey slowly made his way inside, all the while cursing his impertinence and loose tongue.
“Your cave smells like roses and lavender, my lord,” he lied upon his exit from the cave, hoping the flattery would please the lion into letting him go.
“You dishonest beast,” the lion said and killed the donkey with a single blow.
Needless to say, the animals were shocked and confused.
“The last chance goes to you fox,” the lion dictated.
The sly fox stepped forward and coughed and apologized, “I have a cold my lord, and my nose is stuffy. I can’t smell a thing. Sorry!”
The crafty fox was miraculously spared. And the other animals, realizing the fox’s sly plan, followed suit from then on.