Then one morning,
out of the blue, the lion roared at him with the worst roar Hari had
ever heard: 'Stop that bleating! Stop nibbling
grass! What is the matter with you! Be a lion!'
Hari hung his head.
'I can't,' he bleated.
stay away from me! I don't want to see your face. Don't follow me.'
And with that, the lion turned and walked away. And he stayed away.
He stayed away for days and days. It was like death.
And now in his
grief Hari, for the first time, longed with all his heart and soul
to be a lion. He saw that the bliss of being a sheep at the feet of
a lion could not last. And he was ashamed that he had been content
with it; it was somehow like cheating. I must myself become a lion,
he told himself, only thus can I truly obey my master. The longing
grew like fire in him. 'I will not be a sheep.'
He stopped eating grass, and, therefore, he stopped eating
altogether. 'I will be a lion or die.'
He meditated with such earnestness that once or twice he could feel
the presence of Lion someplace very close-closer than he had ever
felt him. But when he opened his eyes Lion was not there. His grief
and his longing knew no bounds.