THE LION WHO SAW HIS FACE IN THE WATER
There was once a lion who lived in a desert that was very windy; and because of this, the water in the holes from which he usually drank was never still, for the wind riffled the surface and it never reflected anything.
One day this lion wandered into a forest, where he hunted and played,until he felt rather tired and thirsty. Looking for water, he came across a pool of the coolest, most tempting, and most placid water that you could possibly imagine. Lions, like other wild animals, can smell water, and the scent of this water was like ambrosia to him.
So the lion approached the pool, and extended his neck to have a good drink. Suddenly, though, he saw his reflection and imagined that it must be another lion.
"Oh dear," he thought to himself, "this must be water belonging to another lion I had better be careful."
He retreated, but then thirst drove him back again, and again he saw the head of a fearsome lion looking back at him from the surface of the pool.
This time our lion hoped that he might be able to frighten the 'other lion' away: and so he opened his mouth and gave a terrible roar. But no sooner had he bared his teeth than, of course, the mouth of the 'other lion' opened as well, and this seemed to our lion to be an awful and dangerous sight.
Again and again the lion retreated and then returned to the pool. Again and again he had the same experience.
After a long time, however, he was so thirsty and desperate that he decided to himself: "Lion or no lion, I am going to drink from that pool!"
And, lo and behold, no sooner had he plunged his face into the water than the 'other lion' disappeared.
- Nathan Natas, UADNA
(Unseen Apostate Directorate of North America)