In one faraway land, there was a safari. Elephants, giraffes, antelopes, zebras, and other animals lived there. They all lived happily together in large open spaces and plains. A lion was their king. He was the strongest of them all. But he was also clever, wise, and just.
One day, a zebra came to the lion and complained: “This can’t continue. There isn’t enough space here. You have to say something to those silly antelopes. They keep spreading out as if this whole place was theirs.”
Just then, an antelope arrived and said: “That’s not true. It’s you, the zebras, who doesn’t leave any room for us here. You only care about yourselves and don’t care about anyone else.”
The lion heard them both out, took a moment to think, and then asked: “Weren’t you two friends? Why aren’t you getting along anymore? There is enough space and grass here. Graze together.”
The zebra got upset and raised her voice at the lion: “And where can we graze together? There’s no grass here.”
The lion looked around and then he saw what was happening. There wasn’t enough grass around for either the zebras or the antelopes, and that’s why they were both angry. They weren’t mean; they were simply hungry. Because the lion was wise, he wasn’t angry at them. He understood them. He promised he would solve the problem.
He asked his friend the eagle to look around the entire safari and find out where there was enough grass for both herds. The antelopes as well as the zebras. The eagle took off into the air and searched the entire safari. Finally, he found a plain where the grass was juicy and plentiful. But it was too far. He flew back to the lion and told him everything.
The lion was strong and knew that he would make it all the way to the plain himself, but the antelopes and zebras were weaker. It would be difficult for them. It was too far.
After a lot of thinking, he called both the zebra and the antelope herds over and announced his decision to them: “Dear animals, I am very sorry that you do not have enough grass here. And I also understand that when you are hungry, it makes you angry. My friend eagle has found a place where you can graze together. There is plenty of juicy grass there. Only it’s a little far. But don’t worry, I will go with you and take you there. I will help you along the way.” And that’s what he did.
For several days, the zebras and antelopes staggered across nearly the entire safari. But the lion kept his promise. He protected them along the way, guided them, and waited for the weaker members of the herd. He even carried the young ones on his back. When they reached the grassy plains, they were all amazed. The antelope and the zebra came to the lion and thanked him profusely.
One night as the zebra lay resting on the grass, she asked the lion: “Why did you lead us here? You didn’t have to. You don’t eat grass. And you even protected us and helped us.”
“You see, my dear zebra, being a king doesn’t just mean being the strongest and making sure everyone knows. A good king must also make good decisions and think of his subjects when making them, so that they love him. And I would like to be a good king,” the lion replied. “You are a very good king,” the zebra told him and then fell contentedly asleep.