A thunderous roar echoes in the African Savannah. For a moment, all animals stop and gaze towards the direction of the sound. Yes, they recognize that the king is finally awake – the Lion King. He strides with elegance towards the entrance of the den which overlooks the vast African Savannah. He quietly observes his territory which extends all the way to the horizon. The Savannah looks golden with patches of dark shades from the acacia trees. The elephants, rhinos, giraffes and gazelles are grazing peacefully while the hyenas are scavenging among the left over carcasses.
“This is my kingdom.” He thinks to himself. He lets out one more roar and watches his subject shrivel under his preeminence. The sun is now slightly above the horizon. The rays illuminate the scars on his body which is a constant reminder of the battles that earned him the badge to be called King. The scars are proof that power is never handed over; it is only taken from the usurper with blood and sweat.
He moves to his favorite spot among the rocks and lays down to rest. The lionesses are arranging themselves on how to go about the day’s errands. He has seven lionesses and twelve cubs in his pride making him the ultimate lion king. Cara was selected to look after the cubs while the others were to go hunting. He liked Cara more than the others. She was kind and beautiful.
The cubs come to play around him. He looks at them with fatherly admiration. A dark thought crosses his mind. When the time comes, the young innocent cubs would be fully grown lions and one of them is going to dethrone him. He comforts himself that time is still on his side since the cubs have a long way to go before they mature.
He takes a deep breath and exhales. Oh the life of a Lion King. Many think that he lazies around and let the lionesses do all the work. Few know the tribulations that one goes through when you are king. Every minute, others lie steady watching your throne. Ready to pounce when they see a point of weakness. Ready to devour without any thought of mercy. Ready to kill for the power you hold. But you won’t make it easy for them. You will fight to your last breath for in the end all is lost if you are not king.
He stares again at the sun which is now well above the horizon. The Savannah looks dryer than it was before when he was young. There wasn’t much food for the herbivorous animals and they had slowly started to migrate to other parts of the Savannah making it difficult for the carnivorous animals to get food. All the current food problems are as a result of human being actions.
He despises them. “How ignorant can they be?” He asks himself. “Have they no appreciation for biodiversity?” First, they come to cut down the forests to build their towns and fancy furniture. The result is less rain hence less food for the herbivorous animals. As if that is not injury enough, they kill elephants and rhinos for their tusks and horns to make jewelry. They justify all this by ancient writing in their holy books that they were given dominion over earth.
He looks at his cubs and imagines what their future would be like. They would be reduced to scavengers. There would be no kingdoms to rule. The humans would have consumed all their food as they breed without planning. Waste would be dumped all over the Savannah making it inhabitable. He sees a future where his kind will be extinct. He weeps for the future.
He remembers he is king. Something has to be done or the future generations will suffer. What can I do? He is saddened that the power to change the future remains in the hands of the humans who are causing all this pain. Why can’t they be reasonable? Can’t they see that both our futures are intertwined? Our extinction will be a step away from theirs. He ravels on their profound ignorance and yet they are deemed to be the epitome of creation; the irony of life in its true colors.
A time would come when things would be decided by battle; us against them. The encroachment of our habitat cannot continue without repercussions. That would be the true test for the king of the jungle. He would have to lead the animal kingdom against the human kingdom. Their technology may give them an edge over us but countless battles have been won in history by the disadvantaged group. Still the animal kingdom may suffer a devastating loss, an eternal loss.
The cubs are still playing around him. He looks at them and smiles. They make him momentarily forget all the tribulations rocking his mind. “Let me enjoy the moment for the future belongs to the gods.” He tells himself. “For now I am king. I will do my best to protect my kind and hope that the gods would favor our continued existence and breathe some reason into the human mind.”