The lion's share | Aesops fables retold
The lion's share - Aesop's fables
The lion's share is an idiomatic expression (usually meant to denote the biggest share of something) that has evolved from a number of ancient fables many versions of which are ascribed to Aesop (the collection of Aesop's fables). Usually this involves a story of an animal (lion) dividing up the spoils of hunting with other (lesser) animals such that it get most (usually) all of it.
Here is one version of the story of the 'lion's share' retold.
The lion's share
Leto Lion was a huge and ferocious lion. He was quite a scary sight. His very sight was enough to send shivers down the spines of the other jungle animals. And when he roared, the very jungle quaked.
But Leto was getting old. He was no longer as agile as before. While his pounce was still strong, and his teeth still sharp, his run was no longer as fast. And so only yesterday a little deer was able to actually run away from him in front of his eyes. But his hunger was as acute as ever and he had to hunt for food.
So Leto pondered over his predicament. What was to be done? If only his prey could be brought close to him, there would be no problem. It was the fast chase that was the issue. Leto decided to find himself some partners.
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The lion forges a partnership with the fox, the jackal and the wolf
Leto Lion then walked about the jungle looking for likely partners. He soon came upon a group of three friends - Furro Fox, Jacky Jackal and Woolly Wolf. As Leo approached them, they instinctively turned around to run, but Leto purred in sweet tones (as much as he could, of course it did sound like a growl cut short), "Wait a minute, friends. I mean no harm to you. In fact I am going to let you three become my partners."
The three friends were stunned. Partnering with a lion was not something they had really considered. They stood rooted to the spot. Furro Fox was totally against the idea. "This will never work out," he whispered. "Only equals should partner." But the other two were beginning to get interested. "Maybe we can benefit much from this offer," they reasoned.
"What exactly do you mean by that, Leto," inquired Jacky.
"Let us forge a partnership - all four of us," said Leto. "We will hunt together. You guys are young and pretty fast. You can corner a prey and make it run towards me (in hiding). When it comes close to me, 'poof', it will be no more," explained Leto. "This way together we would have hunted for food."
"Oh! and together we can share the food," eagerly interjected Woolly Wolf, who was beginning to see vast possibilities in this joint venture. Why, It could solve their food worries for good, and moreover Leto was a powerful ally to have.
"We..ll, yes," growled Leto. This thought of sharing the spoils had honestly not occurred to him. But he was a practical lion and he realized that without that admission he was unlikely to get partners.
The partnership is formed - the first hunt
Jacky and Woolly were strongly for it, Furro Fox wasn't quite convinced, but he went along with his friends. And so the partnership was born.
Soon after a stag was spotted some distance away. As per Leto's command the three friends separated and quietly surrounded the stag from three different sides. Then they launced a co-ordinated attack on the stag from three sides. The panicked stag bolted, but as planned straight into the path where Leto Lion was hidden. It was a minutes work for Leto to pounce on the stag and the stag was no more.
The three friends gathered around Leto. They waited hungrily and expectantly for Leto to share the stag with them. "Your majesty, we leave it to you to decide how to share this amongst us," Jacky Jackal grovelled.
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The lion's share
"Make the stag into four parts," ordered Leto.
The three friends happily complied thinking that this was not a bad deal after all. Leto, they thought was asking for a division into four so they could each have an equal share; which would be very fair indeed! And so the 'food' was divided into four parts.
"As king of the jungle, it is my right to get the first share in every pie," roared Leto and he quickly finished off one part even as the animals watched, still unsure what was going on.
"As arbitrator in this division, one share goes to me," decided Leto and he speedily finished off another part as the bemused animals stared in disbelief.
"As partner in this hunt, one share is of course mine," reasoned Leto and gobbled up one more share as realization began to dawn on the others that this was not going their way at all.
"As for the remaining part, I would like to see who dares touch it in front of me, Leto Lion," roared Leto as he menacingly eyed the last part.
The three animals quietly slunk off, their tail between their legs, having learnt an important lesson on the consequences of a partnership between unequals.