Tuesday, August 16, 2016

THE LION’S SHARE







Pic.: Chetna Shetty



Years ago, when I had decided to do something about my poor English, one of the things I did – and found it very useful – was telling a nice story in two tenses… Past and Present. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of people who were earnest to improve their English with the same method… Yes, write a nice story down in both the tenses… and tell it to someone.

Today, the English phrase ‘Lion’s Share’ means a ‘bigger share’ or ‘better share’. But, long time ago, it meant ‘everything’.



THE LION’S SHARE


PAST:


One day, Lion, the king of the jungle, went for hunting. He took along some of his friends for help. By the end of the day, they gathered a large pile of meat… It was time for sharing.

The lion made four equal parts.

Pointing at the first share, the lion roared, “I am the king of the jungle. So, this share belongs to me. Any problem… Any objection?”

“No sire,” the animals replied.

Pointing at the second share, the lion thundered, “This is for my wife, the lioness… Your queen. Any problem, any objection?”

“No sire,” the animals cried.

Pointing at the third share, the lion blasted, “This is for my son, the prince… your future king. Any problem, any objection?”

It was dark and the animals were tired and hungry. One share was still left… There was still hope. So, they meekly muttered, “No sire.”

Pointing at the last share, the lion gently declared, “This is for you, my dear, dear subjects.”

Immediately, the faces of the animals lit up with joy. But, just then, they heard their king’s roar again, “Wait, wait, wait… For that, you have to fight me!”

A sudden gloom fell upon the animals… and, they left the jungle, one by one, cursing their own fate.



PRESENT:


(One day,) lion, the king of the jungle, goes for hunting. He takes along some of his friends for help. By the end of the day, they gather a large pile of meat… It is time for sharing.

The lion makes four equal parts.

Pointing at the first share, the lion roars “I am the king of the jungle. So, this share belongs to me. Any problem… Any objection?”

“No sire,” the animals reply.

Pointing at the second share, the lion thunders, “This is for my wife, the lioness… Your queen. Any problem, any objection?”

“No sire,” the animals cry.

Pointing at the third share, the lion blasts, “This is for my son, the prince… your future king. Any problem, any objection?”

It is dark and the animals are tired and hungry. One share is still left… There is still hope. So, they meekly mutter, “No sire.”

Pointing at the last share, the lion gently declares, “This is for you, my dear, dear subjects.”

Immediately, the faces of the animals light up with joy. But, just then, they hear their king’s roar again, “Wait, wait, wait… For that, you have to fight me!”

A sudden gloom falls upon the animals… and, they leave the jungle, one by one, cursing their own fate.


GERALD D’CUNHA



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