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Once upon a time, long long ago, there was a vast savannah on which only lions and gazelles lived. The gazelles ate the grass that grew on the savannah and the lions ate the gazelles when they could catch them.

Although the lions were endowed by nature with fierce teeth, claws, and strength, they generally only were able to catch the weak, aged, unwary or unlucky gazelles because nature, in order to maintain a balance on the savannah between predator and prey, made young healthy gazelles able to run faster than the lions and escape. Those gazelles that got away ate the grasses that grew on the savannah, mated and new gazelles were born. And so, they all, lions and gazelles, thrived among the savannah’s endless grasslands.

One day there was born into the pride, the biggest, the meanest, the fastest and the hungriest lion of them all. One who was able to catch, kill and eat any gazelle that lived on the plain, which of course eventually he did. And the Great Lion as he was called and all the members of the pride prospered until that day the Great Lion finally had caught and killed every gazelle living on the savannah and there was nothing left for any of the lions to eat.

So the Great Lion, still being hungry, began to kill and eat all the other lions until they too were all gone but one. As he was about to be dispatched by the Great Lion to be the Great Lion’s last meal, this next to last lion alive asked the Great Lion, “Why? You could have just eaten what you needed and we all could have and prospered forever. Why didn’t you?”

And the Great Lion looked at him with a smile and said, “My job was only to kill and to eat. I was just following my nature. It was your job, the job of you and all the other lions in the pride to make sure I did not run wild and destroy our grassy paradise.”

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