“Most Valuable Indeed!” Fable – 5/9/14; Revised 7/19/2021 to fit the word count.
“It is me! It is me!” shouted the cheetah. “I am the quickest of all the animals in the Animal Kingdom; I have the speed and agility. I raced up to the summit of Mt. Everest in less than 3 hours.”
The owl hooted, “Oh please, cheetah. You would not last a nanosecond in a game of trivia. I won Jeopardy and Who Wants to be a Millionaire ten times each.”
“Quiet!” roared the lion. “It is I who possess power and strength like that of the Sun. I’m in a popular Disney movie: The Lion King. ”
“While I would not even dare rival the power of three creatures of highessst virtue, I believe the mossst cunning belongs to me, not you. I’m in the most widely published book: The Holy Bible. ” hissed the snake.
The animals with the most exceptional attributes (excluding humans) were debating over who deserved to be known as “The Animal King”—the greatest honor in all of the Animal Kingdom. The cheetah, the owl, the lion, and the snake — being the quickest, the wisest, the strongest, and the cleverest respectively — dominated the scene at the Wild Wisteria – an area where marine, jungle, grasslands, forest, desert, tundra, taiga, and freshwater biomes coalesced – with their onomatopoetic sounds (i.e. hoots, roars, and hisses).
Meanwhile, the other animals wallowed in grief, for their combined prowess, adroitness, and abilities fell short of the top dogs. The animals, however, all possessed one vote each. And each animal was represented with one organism of their respective species. Hence, once the owl, the cheetah, the lion, and the snake had finally exhausted themselves of every last breath, a small but determined ant stepped—or in this case, crawled—to the front.
“Ahem,” coughed the ant. “I am an ant. I am tiny; I am small. Be that as it may, but I speak for the others—the not so bright, the not so fast, the not so strong, and the not so clever.” The ant turned its head, regarding his audience. “Take donkey for example: he may seem slow to grasp concepts, but his perseverance and endurance prove to be a true wonder.”
The donkey whinnied in approval.
“And turtle. She is notorious for her slowness, but I believe her patience is something we all can learn from.”
The other animals sounded their approval in a chorus of clicks, oinks, buzzes, hoofs bleating, heads ramming, and fins splashing. The snake sank back into a coil; the lion stood its ground, but it shook beneath him; the owl ruffled its feathers—its eyes wide; and the cheetah pawed its head in dismay. The best had been bested.
“And what about me? I may be small, but I am an ant. And for that I am grateful.”
*Application: Value does not come from the individual. It comes from God. Practice being humble, for arrogance has no place anywhere—neither in the Animal Kingdom nor elsewhere. Instead of searching for value outside of yourself, search for value from within. Tame yourself, work on developing your talents and skills to a higher degree, and remain as positive as you can be, without sounding fake or looking like you’re forcing a smile.
Indeed, in this story, many characters are searching for signs, whether astrological signs or validating, instant gratification signs. Impressing people shouldn’t be your end-goal; rather, we must work in concert and in harmony with one another, as each animal has importance. Each animal serves a purpose (well, maybe not flies, mosquitoes, or cockroaches). Similarly, each human being deserves attention, care, and respect. The moment we stop giving that to someone, the moment we lose their respect and their love. Of course, it may not have as much a sense of finality as that, but it can still have a sense of permanence.
The owl may be seen as wanting a more perfect wisdom—one where he is supreme and idealized. This may be his tragic flaw, causing him to not be that wise after all, especially after the ant gave his opinion. The snake is cunning, which is not necessarily the same as wise. Snakes have forked tongues, demonstrating their malleability and double standard; they can entice, persuade, and woo any soul, even Eve in the Garden of Eden. The cheetah is basically a racecar that never runs out of fuel. Of course, this is a hyperbole, as it is a fictional story with bits of fantastical elements, as the animals can talk. The lion, who is in the same taxonomical family as the cheetah (Felidae), yearns for masculinity and showmanship.
Fables are a genre that were in their peak with Aesop. We, too, should reawaken prior genres with renewed hope and vigor—a freshness unlike any other, a crispness of paradigm proportions. As you can tell, I really love to write. Please follow me on my social media platforms, if possible. I want to bring people along for the ride, the journey into the metaphysical realities and the paranormal deities that are exhibited within each of us. I want to lift us all up into heaven through clarity, encouragement, and hope.
Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and author, stated, “Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings” (Brainyquote). Hopefulness makes the tiniest leaf seem larger in significance than the shiniest diamond.
So, don’t stop believing. That song by Journey is one that reaches into the inner-city kids, who live in crowded areas and depraved areas sometimes, and the country folks as well. Yet, industrialization also brought newfound wealth to many people, like Andrew Carnegie and Rockefeller, and farms can be really successful, too. Anyway, enough of the history lessons. I sometimes forget that I shouldn’t be a WyzAnt tutor in every place on the Internet; there’s a time and place for everything, and teaching should be done in schools or through a tutoring company, not on Reedsy. Anyway, I’m so grateful that I can be on this platform with so many esteemed editors as workers here and so many esteemed and aspiring writers here, like me.