Thursday, March 03, 2005

Lion's Advisors

I adapted this story from David Shannon's Still More Stories to Solve. Stories I choose to tell usually have some resonance with my life. I recognize myself in each of the animals. Perhaps that is stating the obvious! At any rate, you may find the answer to the riddle-tale in the comments section.

One morning, Lion—King of the Beasts—woke up with terrible breath. “Yuck!” said his wife and rolled over. This put Lion in the foulest of moods. He roared and growled with every step. He ordered his three advisors to come immediately.

“Sheep,” demanded Lion, “is my breath sweet or is my breath bad?”

The sheep thought the Lion wanted an honest answer. “Your Majesty, your breath is bad.” Lion roared with anger at hearing the truth, and killed the sheep in a blink of an eye.

“Wolf,” demanded Lion, “Is my breath sweet or is my breath bad?”

The wolf was well aware of what had just happened to the sheep. “Oh your Majesty, your breath is as sweet as a summer’s day.”

Lion roared, “You’re flattering me like a fool just to save your life, but it won’t work!” He killed the wolf just as quickly as he had killed the sheep.

Now, the fox was the only advisor left.

“Fox,” demanded Lion, “Is my breath sweet or is my breath bad?”

Fox coughed as he glanced at the bodies of the wolf and the sheep, then slowly gave his answer. Lion not only sent the fox home safe and alive, he even said he understood.

What did the fox say that not only got Lion to spare his life, but even got Lion’s sympathy?

1 comment:

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Answer: As the fox pretended to cough, he told Lion, “I have such a terrible cold. I can’t smell anything.”