2. The Lion-King and the Camel
The lion-king was starving.
"You must eat the royal camel," the crow advised.
"But he's my devoted courtier!" the lion protested.
"Don't worry," said the jackal.
"He'll agree!" said the leopard.
So the lion-king summoned his courtiers. "I'm starving!" he roared.
"Eat me!" said the crow.
"You're just skin and feathers," the jackal scoffed. "Eat me!"
"You're too scrawny," observed the leopard. "Eat me!"
This show of loyalty inspired the camel, who assumed that another courtier would speak up to save his life also. "The leopard's meat is tough," the camel exclaimed. "Eat me!"
So the lion ate the camel.
Inspired by: The Panchatantra, translated by Arthur Ryder.
Notes: It is in Book 1, Story 16. The full version of the story develops the rivalry between the members of the lion's court, which is also the main theme of the Panchatantra's first frametale about a lion king and the scheming jackals in his court.