the lion asked after a time. 'Have you
sir,' Hari said. 'Please let me stay.'
The lion smiled. 'Come
with me.' He led him to a quiet pool among the trees. 'Come
close and look with me into the water. What do you see?'
He saw two handsome
lions with wide brows and thick golden ruffs around their heads.
see two lions,' he answered. 'You and
another like you, though smaller.'
are that other,' the lion told him. 'That
is your reflection. You see, you are a lion.'
Then he explained
that Hari was truly a lion and not, as he thought, a sheep. And when
he had finished Hari said: 'But, sir, if I am
a lion, how does it happen that I am a sheep?'
are not a sheep,' the lion said in very distinct and measured
tones. 'I have just been telling you: you are
is no "but",' the lion roared and
stamped on the ground, making the water tremble. Hari also trembled.
sir,' he said. To himself, however, he finished the sentence:
... I am a sheep.'
The lion glared at
him. 'You want to be a sheep,' he
roared. 'Then why did you come here? You might
just as well go back. You will be better off.' And he started
to walk away.
no, sir!' Hari called after him. 'Please,
The lion returned.
'What do you want?' he asked severely.
'Make up your mind.'