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The Gullible Sheep, Hungry Lion & Shrewd Tortoise

A long-time ago in the animal kingdom, a wandering sheep saw a crying lion trapped in a cage. The lion begged it to save him with a promise not to eat it but the sheep refused. After much persuasion and for the sheep’s gullibility it helped the lion.

Now the lion was hungry having stayed in the cage for days without food. It quickly grabbed the sheep to eat but the sheep reminded him of his promise. They were arguing when other animals came passing by. The passersby sought to know what happened. Both the lion and sheep narrated their stories but because of fear of the lion, all the animals took sides with him except the tortoise who claimed not to understand the whole scenario.

Now the tortoise asked the lion to show them where he was before the sheep rescued him. The lion pointed at the cage. He asked again, “were you inside or outside when the sheep arrived?” The lion said he was inside. The tortoise said, “ok, go back inside, let’s see how difficult it could be inside.” The lion entered and the tortoise locked him back inside.

In amazement, the other animals asked the tortoise the “why” and he replied, “if we allow him to eat the sheep today, he will still go hungry tomorrow and we don’t know the next amongst us to be eaten tomorrow.”

The moral of this short tale is never to support evil when it doesn’t affect you directly, tomorrow it could be your turn.