A Modern Fable: The Baby and the Lion One day, a man and a woman were sitting in their living room when an African lion, escaped from the zoo, wandered through their screen door and into their babys room. The man whispered, Weve got to save our baby! and leaped for his rifle. But the woman leapt up to stop him. Wait! she cried. Why are you reacting so quickly? What do you mean? the man asked. The woman pointed her finger at him. How do you know the lion means any harm to our baby? she demanded. I guess I dont for sure, the man replied, rubbing his chin. Just because you see lions being violent on TV doesnt mean theyre all violent, she pleaded. The man was getting impatient, and took his rifle down from the mantle. But we learned in school that lions kill people, he said. The woman shook her head. Thats nonsense from people who are afraid of lions. In fact, lions are beautiful creatures, all part of natures world, she said. The man slowly put his rifle back on the mantle. I guess youre right, he said. I mean, there arent many lions in our neighborhood. I dont work with any lions, and I dont have any friends who are lions. Maybe Im being irrational and prejudiced. Rushing to judgment based on stereotypes isnt fair. The woman began to smile. Yes. Youre getting it. For years, weve been mistreating lions, killing them for sport, putting them in cages to gawk at, and keeping them away from where we live. It was all based on hatred of lions. Were hurting the lions feelings when we do those things. We must reach out to the lions, give them food and shelter, and stroke their hides and manes to let them know we love them. Then we wont have to fear them. Well all live together in peace and harmony. The man and woman continued to talk, excited about the wave of enlightenment that was washing over them. They sat back down in their chairs, and began discussing ways of creating equal rights for lions, for getting government programs to support them, and of making more positive portrayals of them in the media. Suddenly, the man jumped up from his seat. But you know what? While weve been sitting her talking, weve missed an opportunity to reach out to the lion in our very own home! Youre right! the woman said. We can start right now. Lets go talk to him and let him know that were not prejudiced. The man and woman then joined hands and began walking toward their babys room. They were horrified to discover that the lion had eaten their baby, leaving nothing but blood all over the sheets of the baby crib. Meanwhile, the lion had walked out the back door. This is terrible! the woman said. The only reason this poor lion has resorted to eating our baby is because of the hatred, intolerance and mistreatment he and his ancestors have suffered at our hands! The man threw up his hands and said, Yes, you might even say we deserve whats happened to us. We created this whole problem. For what weve done, we should be eaten by the lion, too! With that, the man and woman set off to look for the lion, with the hopes that he would accept their forgiveness.