The King

‘You don’t deserve to be a King’

A gruesome battle ensued.

***

He woke up late after a long and sleepless night. He was tired and hungry. A few monkeys slipped a note to him last evening informing him of a potential kill. The king was overwhelmed and prepared for a sumptuous meal for a week. After all, the potential kill was a colossal bison.

He waited the whole night near the waterhole. It was cold and he could barely stand. He became so tired that he started becoming delusional. Just before dawn, he jumped into the waterhole only to realize that it was his own reflection he sprang onto.

While returning home, he saw the monkeys rampaging on a ripe tree.

‘You made a mistake and will pay the price for it. You sent me to a waterhole for what?’

‘We apologize, Oh Dear King. We have always wished good for you. We overheard a group of bison the other day. They had planned to lay to rest near the waterhole’ said the monkey.

‘Well’ the king looked at the sun ‘I guess I will rest for a while’

The King began to feel hungrier as the sun grew strong.

‘Dear King, I have come to say a good morning’ Said the Hyena ‘hope you had an eventful night?’

‘These monkeys cannot be trusted. And I, like a fool, paid heed to their foolish tip offs’, the king growled in disgust.

‘You are a king and if you wish, we will sweep those primates off this forest. We will also be highly honored to invite you for lunch today, Oh dear King’, the hyena smiled with his head laying low.

The Kings turbulent mind fueled by hunger made him extremely desperate but not to the point where he would feast with a pack of Hyenas. He politely declined and walked towards the waterhole for another bout. This time, he was lucky to spot a deer with its fawn. Without reluctance, the king charged towards the herbivore. The deer realized the impending danger and began to lick its fawn’s nose for the last time.

‘Why don’t you run?’ The king stopped and asked ‘I cannot kill you like this’

‘I cannot leave my child here and run for my own life. I propose you kill me and spare my little one. Oh King’ cried the deer.

‘You know it, I cannot do that’; exclaimed the king ‘I shall eat you both’

‘Yes dear King you can feast on us. You have a reputation to maintain. After all, what on earth can make you realize what it means to have a family, raise a child and watch them grow’ said the Deer.

The King felt a jolt to his heart. It seemed like he just traveled through time to face his destiny. He was destined to see his family but his lust for more drove away his beloved queen and two brave cubs. That night was dark and cold. They were nowhere to be found again. The King never disregarded his solitude as a royal trait but today, the deer spoke of what the Queen Spoke then; Family.

‘Go away’ yelled the King ‘I spare you and your little piece of flesh’

Maybe, it wasn’t a bad proposition at all, the King thought. Those Hyenas had been loyal to him and would understand his situation. He marched towards the feasting pack and stood still for one to notice.

‘Oh King, I knew you would come. Please be our guest’, the leader of the pack yelled.

***

 As years passed, the jungle became even more desolated. With less food and water, it began to tear itself apart. Almost all the herbivores moved out of the forest in search of a better habitat. What remained of the forest were its carnivores and some nocturnes. Moreover, a new predator was found recceing around the perimeter of the forest implying it was time for the King to defend his territory.

‘What do you feel’ The King asked the Owl ‘is he a larger one or someone I can fight off?’

‘Oh King. It may be a big cat from other territory. Please forgive me for asking. Why do I sense fear and discomfort in you?’ asked the bird.

‘How dare you say that?’ the King growled in anger ‘do you know who I am?’

‘Oh dear King, we have been hearing stories of your decadence’ the Owl explained ‘it does not suit a King to feast with his pawns. Does it?’

‘What are you talking about?’

‘Looks like you are too blinded to see it yourself. Whatever is left of this forest, speaks volumes of your demeanor. You lay at the mercy of those Hyenas. That is shameful’

The King, with all his energy, charged at the bird only to realize that it took off much before he could take position.

He walked towards the waterhole to quench his thirst. Coincidentally, Hyenas lay there too.

‘You know the consequences of a conspiracy, don’t you?’ shouted the King.

‘We just told them that the King feasted with all this while’ one of Hyenas replied.

Surely, this was a conspiracy. Who was the perpetrator? The King controlled his anger for a moment of sane thought. Was it the predator that the Owl spoke of? An impending storm or loss of dignity? He realized that he hadn’t hunted for years. Did he really lay at the mercy of Hyenas?

‘And what about the predator, the bird spoke of? Do you think we can defeat it?’ he asked.

‘We can’ laughed the Hyena ‘if you want to’

***

It was a conclusive moment indeed. The predator was spotted around an old ruin within the Kings territory. There were a total of fifteen Hyenas followed by one beleaguered King. They were ready to launch an assault. The King was vigilant and ready too.

That night, they all waited near the edge of the forest.

A loud roar. A swift stance. And a determined charge. The predator was indeed a huge Tiger.

The Predator killed twelve Hyenas in just a few moments. The remaining three trembled and rushed towards the darkest side of the forest.

‘You’ roared the predator ‘would you not run?’

‘I don’t run. I am a King’, he said heavy heart.

‘You don’t deserve to be a King’, the predator charged with all his strength.

A gruesome battle ensued. It went on for hours, with the predator chasing the King ruthlessly. Finally, a longer stride allowed him to catch hold of the Kings neck.

The King was down. He was tired. He was thirsty. And he was dethroned.

***

‘You see, I never wanted to invade your territory. I don’t need it. I made my own territory, much bigger than yours; much more powerful than this. I just came here to see, how a King remains helpless and at the mercy of those wicked Hyenas’.

‘The Owl’ the King said, ‘he spread the word’

‘Regardless’ the predator smiled ‘you broke some important rules of being a King and that’s what brings me here’

“One – You let those silly primates tip you off on your hunts. That challenges our abilities. Our Sovereignty.

Two – You chose to let go that deer, thus disturbing the law of nature. No one breaks the law of nature. Our Legacy.

Three – You feasted without hunting for years shamelessly. Our Pride.

Four – You came to see another King with a pack of Hyenas. Our Valour.

And the most important one. You still call yourself a King having lost everything – Our Instinct, Our Signature.

And whilst doing so, the entire system, the law of your Jungle changed. Hyenas took complete control and destroyed everything you stood for once. All herbivores fled to my territory creating abundant kills. And that is what I am here for. I wanted to see how a King can lose all his traits, dignity and courage under the realms of absurdity.

I will not kill you for abandoning us that night. I am not here to avenge my mother. There is no vengeance in self-imposed conspiracies. I am here to restrict this world from collapsing at the hands of a feeble minded King”

***

The Kids were amazed to see a huge Tiger in their zoo finally. It was old. It had huge scars but it was believed that the big cat got it while defending his territory.

They still call him, The King.

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