The Lion And The Panthers – A Parable


Once upon time there was a beautiful city by the lake. One part of the town on the east side was entirely occupied by the lake. The beautiful city had parks. The parks were so wonderful that one giraffe paved the road just for the bikers to ride the lakefront.
The animals that lived in the city were of all kind, but they lived separately. There were giraffes, bears, leopards, jaguars, lions, panthers and elephants. The beautiful city was rated second by some in the kingdom, but a little lion from Emerald City, where he worked with King Giraffe, came back to the city by the lake to make it number one.

This beautiful city once had steel mills on the far South Side, but they went out of business. In the village of Back of the Yards, there had been a slaughterhouse, where they killed cows and pigs for the people of the city and the planet. The slaughterhouse had many jobs for killing the animals and sending the food throughout the world, but they, too, went out of business.

The city was ruled by one of the lions from Village Bridgeport, who came from Ireland. He ruled for many years and built the villages, one by one. He had a few panthers that he liked and he rewarded them with power because they voted for him.
Then one day, a lady lion came to rule and then a black panther came to rule, but he worked so hard that he died right at his desk in the palace. Then the son of the ruling lion, who lived in Bridgeport, came to take over the palace. He ruled for many years and did not make the mistakes of his father.

He included all of the people in the city and he came to like the panthers and allowed the bishop panthers to control their villages on the South and West sides. He balanced the city. He even tore down the miles of special housing his father built for the poor panthers. And then he went in the middle of the city and built a beautiful park with city money and riches from the giraffes. He even moved from the Bridgeport Village into a brand new village that he created.
Then a young lion/panther came out of nowhere. He was unknown. He went downstate and grew with the help of an elephant to be the King and him and his family moved to Emerald City. They took a roaring little lion with them to help rule. The little lion had been in Emerald City before and they thought he would be helpful because he knew his way around.

But the little lion tired of Emerald City and the palace and wanted to come home where he could dominate his very own kingdom, because it was time for the Bridgeport lion to retire.

The little lion liked the city by the lake and he had big plans to make it a world-class city. He came home and the giraffe told the people to accept him. He told the panthers the little lion was a good lion and the people voted for him so he could rule.

But he ruled with an iron fist and seemed not to like the panthers, although he pretended to, because he needed their votes to stay in office. As a new lion he was in place.

When he ran again, he was challenged, but he won again. But then he came up for a third term and the lion realized he wasn’t popular and might lose his seat in the palace. The little lion began to make mistakes. He built skyscrapers downtown and he favored the Lincoln Park Village and the main district. He built more than anybody in the kingdom.

People are wary because the little lion has been very paternalistic and he thinks he is always the smartest one in the room. But he’s not. He closed the panthers’ schools, left them vacant and unattended. The cub panthers were being treated wrong in the schools.

There were rats in the schools and he closed the schools so that the little panthers could not grow up to be strong and smart. The little panthers as they grew up were being shot and killed by the police bears. Sometimes they were shot for just walking down the street. The little panthers also shot and killed each other too often as well.
One of the school chiefs when to jail; the one before the jailed one left to go home, not liking what the little lion was asking him to do. They put in another lion and he gave out contracts to his friends, so he had to go, too. Then finally, a female panther became the chief of schools and she has inherited some bad staff that were doing bad things to the little ones. She has to fix it because she is a panther, too.

Playing Tricks On The People
Now the King Giraffe wants to come home and build a house in the neighborhood he left when he moved to Emerald City to live in the palace. They think the Giraffe’s new house will be beautiful and bring people from all over the planet to the new home and it will rebuild the South Side of the beautiful city by the lake. The South Side is where the panthers roam.
Some of the panthers are resisting the new home because the think they will have to leave the village. And tricks are being played on the people in the area.

There is a museum near where the Giraffe’s house might go and its board members left because they didn’t want to pay their dues. And then one of the organizations where a real Elephant once ruled to put the first black panther in office was fired.

All of this was done so that the little lion that came home from Emerald City could stay in power and rule. He wants to put in an underground railroad so that people can get to the airport faster. He is changing street names for the dead panthers.

He is rebuilding the neighborhoods by tearing down old buildings and replacing them with skyscrapers. He even had his little cubs and old panthers following him for coins and sometimes they went against their very own kin.

Then one day another female panther came. She was smart and a true panther. She didn’t like what the little lion was doing and she stood up. She had worked with the lions and she knew their moves. She had a slingshot and acted like she was David. She thought she could hit the mark. She put her hat in the ring to run against the little lion. She wanted to work with all of the animals in the beautiful city by the lake.
The communication systems were bought up by one of the panthers and through him, some of the lions thought they could control the message, the narrative, the communication to the panthers as a group.

The little lion wanted to tell all of the panthers what they should do, because he wanted the land that had gold. But one of the panthers had a switchblade and she was waiting for the rich panther to pounce and she was prepared cut off his head.

The beautiful city was in a war, but not everyone realized it. Those who knew were fighting and those who didn’t were gong to parties, getting fat and drinking and smoking poison. Many of them were dying and getting ill from their bad habits. The little lion recognized them as slow and ignorant and he disregarded them because he mistook the panthers as sheep.

But the young panther cubs were uncontrollable. They wore wild hair and were sometimes shot down in the streets because they drove cars and were in the wrong places at the wrong times. It got so bad that they couldn’t do normal things like play in their yards or just walk down the streets. They began to march, led by a beautiful white stallion that wore a robe and they challenged the bears with their bare hands and they stopped crying.
But they were smart and educated and they rose up and started to vote. They told the little lion they didn’t like his controlling ways. They didn’t like their schools being closed, they didn’t like not having jobs; they saw through the tricks that were being played. And they voted.

The little lion spent a lot of money trying to control all of the panthers, but underground where it couldn’t be seen, the panthers were getting together and they voted for a little panther cub. She won and the city became beautiful again because all of the animals could live in the city together. Together they built a new place to live, where all were welcomed, respected, and appreciated. They gave the city a new name.

Hermene Hartman

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