Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Leadership (03/14/05)
TITLE: To Be a King for a Day
By Leticia Caroccio
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King Leon was frustrated. He was the appointed king of all creatures, yet he was not happy. It seems the other animals were not too thrilled with his leadership. Everywhere he went he heard one complaint after another.
“The grass is not green enough”, said the zebras.
“The water is not muddy enough”, said the elephants and rhinos.
“The trees are not leafy enough” exclaimed in the giraffes.
“The monkeys are too noisy. We can’t nest in peace”, the birds chimed in.
King Leon heaved a deep sigh late one evening. Queen Leoncia looked up at him and spoke, “Leon, you know what you must do, don’t you?” She waited for a response but none came. King Leon got up and began pacing back and forth. “Leon” she softly said, as she began stroking his mane, “You must go see Him. You must go before The Great Artist and seek His advice”.
King Leon looked at her and knew that she was right. He would go before the throne of the Great Artist. After all, the Great Artist is the one who appointed him to the throne over all animals, great and small. He would prepare to leave when the moon was smiling and the scent of jasmine mingled with the sweet air.
Queen Leoncia quickly sent word to all the animals that an emergency meeting was to take place. Pride by pride, herd by herd and flock by flock they came. The animals quickly began to gather; and just as quickly, the complaints and murmurings began.
The king and queen looked at their noisy subjects. He silently raised a huge paw as he tried to quiet down the masses. This did not work. He looked over at Queen Leoncia. She nodded for him to try again. This time, King Leon let out a powerful roar, a roar that echoed throughout the kingdom. The cats stopped roaring. The hyenas stopped laughing. The monkeys stopped their chattering. King Leon opened his mouth to speak.
“My fellow creatures, my friends” softly said the king. “I know you have things that trouble you. I have heard your complaints. I will go before the Great Artist and He will advise me on what to do”. He stopped and looked at all the faces before him. “I will leave tonight. The moon is smiling and the jasmine is fresh in the air. Good night, until we meet again”. With Queen Leoncia by his side, he turned to go home.
The road to the Great Artist was a hard and lonely one. Many obstacles in his path made his journey difficult. But he stayed focused and carried on. He was so focused that he did not notice the approaching shadow. When he did see it, he became scared and sat down on the ground. The shadow surrounded him on all sides, engulfing the king into its presence. Peace began to take over his heart and King Leon knew that he was in the Presence of the Great Artist Himself.
“Leon” the Great Artist spoke, “I am with you. Don’t be afraid”. King Leon looked up at the Great Artist. “Stand to your feet, Leon” He kindly said, “you must be thirsty, drink”. King Leon wanted to ask many questions. But before he could open his mouth, the Great Artist spoke, “I know why you are here. I can see your heart is in pain. Do not despair. My hand is in this situation”. King Leon said, “The animals, they are not happy. There is much bickering and strife”. “Do not worry, Leon. Haven’t I told you that if you trust Me I will show you great things that you do not know?”
King Leon bowed before his King. The Great Artist touched the head of His appointed one and said, “You must go back and face your subjects. Talk to them. Be patient with them. They are in much need”. The Great Artist helped King Leon up from where he was still bowing and told him, “Know this, Leon, that I will never leave you nor will I forsake you. You will see and you will be amazed. Now go back to your queen and to your kingdom and wait for me”. King Leon nodded.
King Leon looked up at the Great Artist and smiled. The Great Artist smiled back and watched as King Leon began his journey back home.
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