Hari thought for a
long time. Truly, he would like to be a lion, but that was beyond
the realm of possibility. The reflection in the water was wonderful
and might be true for lions, but it was not true for sheep. Still,
he did not want to be a sheep such as he had been. May be a sheep
with a little loneliness' mixed in that was it!
want to be a good, strong sheep, sir,' he said and felt that
this sounded very fine.
But the lion had
lifted his head high and was glaring at him. 'So
you want to be a good, strong sheep. That is awfully nice! Go back
to the meadow and be one. The forest is not the place for good,
strong sheep. The forest is the place for lions. Lions! Do you
understand?' As he spoke his coat glowed until it seemed
luminous, and sparks flew from his eyes. He was pure majesty.
Hari felt awed. The
best, the strongest, the most wonderful sheep in the world would be
like a shadow of shadows next to a real lion. There could be nothing
else worth being.
I truly be a lion?' he asked tremulously.
you any alternative?' the lion said.
sir.' And though he almost added 'But... he didn't. Instead
he said, 'Please, sir, teach me.'
The lion smiled,
and then he looked off into the trees, apparently forgetting Hari's
existence. Hari stood awkwardly and stared at him, waiting to be
After a long time
the lion looked back. 'All right,' he
said. 'Now, meditate on your own true nature.
Repeat: "I am a lion. I am a lion." Try not to
bleat too much. And study your reflection daily.'
sir,' Hari said. And he knew that he had surrendered his life
into the hands of the lion, and that nothing greater than this could
ever happen to a sheep. His heart felt full of a wonderful joy that
he could not have put into words. He prostrated himself at his