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M. Usama Khawar |

Once there was a lion called Nashreef, who lived in a jungle. Nashreef superseded other lions to become the King after garnering support from other animals. He was good in distributing his booty of meat among all strong bodied and ferocious animals ; but his process of controlling jungle and distribution of meat among his kith and kin was often challenged by some animals.

A big problem in the jungle was that a lot of the animals were not able to hunt for food. The prey was right in front of them but they simply didn’t know how to hunt and fill their stomachs. Only a small group of animals knew how to, and so they controlled the food supply for the majority of the jungle.

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Nashreef the lion had promised his animal kingdom that he would get everyone food, but instead of setting up hunting training centers, he just built a lot of pathways from the lions’ homes to the zebras’ and the giraffes’ homes. This, he promised the animals, was supposed to fix the food problem in the kingdom. The animals cheered for their gracious king in their ignorance.

This, he promised the animals, was supposed to fix the food problem in the kingdom. The animals cheered for their gracious king in their ignorance.

Nashreef, like most of his kind, had a bad habit that not a lot of animals knew about. You see, Nashreef really liked the taste of buffalo and other foreign meats. But since his kingdom was poor, he couldn’t get it. Unfortunately, Nashreef was a stubborn king and was used to getting what he wanted. So he asked his children and his clan to wait till it’s dark and kill some of the animals. He then asked them to take the dead animals to the Pananimal kingdom next door to get buffalo meat for him.

This continued for quite a while. Nashreef kept getting his delicacies while the other animals in the kingdom kept dying of starvation. What didn’t change throughout was the narrative that the pathways he had built supposedly for them were going to fill their stomachs eventually.

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Then one day an owl flying above the Pananimal kingdom saw the three lions bringing in the meat into town. The owl thought this was suspicious so he took the story to the newspaper: The Pananimal papers. 

This must be a plot against our great king’ some of them said. ‘He is the king. So what if he eats buffalo?’ said the others.

When the animals of the lion kingdom saw this, they didn’t know what to say. ‘This must be a plot against our great king’ some of them said. ‘He is the king. So what if he eats buffalo?’ said the others.

One animal, however, didn’t like this new information at all. He was a small cricket and was known mostly to everyone for cricketing all the time. And now he had found something especially important to cricket about. His name was Imka and he had had enough of Nashreef’s lies. Imka was also rich, though no where close to Nashreef; but Imka did not have much of an interest in foreign meats.

Imka left his house and went around the kingdom trying to convince the animals to support his rebellion. He went to the humans and complained about the king. ‘You need to investigate the king. He doesn’t care about us at all’ said Imkhan to the humans. The humans promised that they would look into the issue and set up a team called Human Investigation Team (HIT) to investigate.

A year went by like that, and at long last, the HIT announced that the Lions have definitely been lying about their eating habits. They said they will announce what will happen to Nashreef soon.

A lot of animals continued to say that he is innocent, and he kept making public appearances and reaffirming their beliefs.

Nashreef, during this whole mess, started to get worried. He just couldn’t believe that all of this came up all of a sudden. He continued to say that he is innocent. A lot of animals continued to say that he is innocent, and he kept making public appearances and reaffirming their beliefs.

He needed a distraction. He needed to get rid of all this pressure on him. There, he got a brilliant idea. ‘What if I convince everyone that the cricket also eats foreign meats?’ he thought to himself.

So with that in mind, Nashreef went to the humans and told them that Imkhan needs to be investigated too. He couldn’t find anything recent so he asked all the animals ‘Where did HIS food come from? How does he have such a big house?’ Finally, things began looking positive for the Lion King. His supporters began saying that the rebels are clearly hypocrites because their leader is corrupt as well.

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The cricket tried and tried to convince every one of his innocence. He showed all the details to the humans. He gave them everything they asked for (something the lion failed to do), but the animals would not budge. They finally had a reason to hate the rebels; a reason to reject their calls.

The cricket’s sound was eventually diluted in the sounds of the animals. The humans stopped caring because the animals clearly didn’t care anymore. Finally one day HIT found Imka guilty of eating all the buffalo meat – once little “cricket” was out of way; life went back to hunky dory and Nashreef and his clan kept consuming buffaloes and lived happily ever after.

M. Usama Khawar is an undergraduate student currently pursuing a degree in the Social Sciences from The Institute of Business Administration, Karachi. His writing interests are vast, ranging from culture to philosophy to psychology.

M. Usama Khawar is an undergraduate student currently pursuing a degree in the Social Sciences from The Institute of Business Administration, Karachi. His writing interests are vast, ranging from culture to philosophy to psychology.

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