~ 192. Lion, Wolf, and Fox ~

A lion, a wolf, and a fox went hunting and caught an ox, a goat, and a rabbit.
"Wolf, divide the spoils!" the lion commanded.
"The ox must go to the lion," he said. "The goat's for me, and the fox gets the rabbit."
Enraged, the lion tore the wolf to pieces.
"You next!" the lion ordered the fox.
The fox exclaimed, "It's all for you!"
The lion smiled. "How did you learn to divide so wisely?"
"From the wolf," replied the fox.
"And because of your great love for me," concluded the lion, "I now give everything to you."

Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.
Notes: This is story 11 in the book. In the Aesopic version of the lion's share, the lion does not display this generosity in the end, but for Rumi, the fox's total surrender to the lion is an allegory for the faithful seeker's surrender to God. The story concludes: "Thanks be to Him who put us into the world after the peoples of old, so that we heard of the punishments God visited upon past generations of men who lived in former times, that we, knowing what befell those wolves of long ago, like the fox may keep more vigilant watch over ourselves."

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