Unbranded and home on the range.

The Lion and the Fox

One of my mother’s dinnerside stories:

Once there was a poor villager, and he could find no work in his village and he was growing increasingly desperate. Day after day, he could happen upon nothing to do that would earn him any decent income. Eventually, he decided to go off to the city, sure that he would find some work there amidst the hustle and bustle on the city streets.

On the way there he was passing through a forest when he came upon a fox that was resting near a tree, but something appeared wrong. Upon closer observation he saw that the fox was crippled due to some injury on her hind legs. But she seemed to be in good health otherwise – not emaciated or suffering from any lack of nourishment. He further saw that the injury seemed quite old but she was clearly still suffering from its effects. He began to wonder how the fox stayed alive, healthy, and managed to find something to eat if she was so crippled. He decided to hide behind a tree to observe, and so intending he settled down behind a large tree and observed intently.

Not long after the foliage and underbrush began to stir as if something heavy was lumbering on through and soon a lion came into view, dragging the fresh carcass of a goat between its jaws. It settled down in a clearing in the forest and began to enjoy its lunch. When it had eaten its fill, it arose while licking its lips and paws and then sauntered off, leaving the remains out in the open.

The man watched the fox drag herself slowly to the pile of carrion. Despite being ravaged by the king of the jungle, there was still enough meat left over in that heap to allow the fox to eat to her heart’s content. After she was done the fox limped back to the tree she had been resting under and went to sleep with a contented look on her face. The man thought to himself: “Amazing. What a system Allaah has designed whereby the fox doesn’t even have to hunt for her own provision, its just provided to her so easily! Why, if He can do that for an animal, then of course He can do that for me too! Who needs a job?!”

And so saying, the man set off back to his village, thinking that Allaah would provide for him in the same way He provided for the fox. He sat down in the shade of a building and waited with a naive smile on his face for something to come his way – food, money, new clothing – anything.

Days passed by. Nothing came his way.

His hopes began to dwindle as his hunger and desperation increased. Another man was passing by when he noticed the poor vagrant lying in the shade, clearly starving for food and so, took pity on him.

He walked over to him and said: “Well? What’s the matter?”
The poor man replied: “Can you spare any change? Or give me some food? Perhaps even a cup of chai?”
As the other man sat down and after giving some food he remarked: “Well of course. But let’s hear how you came to such a miserable state!”

And so while they shared a bite or two, the beggar told him about his initial resolve to find a job in the city, the detour that he took through the jungle and the subsequent events that transpired therein, and finally, of his determination to receive his provision from Allaah just like the fox had received hers.

The other man listened respectfully and then at the end, as he got up to leave, asked the beggar: “Yes, you observed the fox and so you thought you could also receive your provision in the same manner. But what a shame that you did not think to be like the lion, whereby through you, Allaah would have also provided for others! What a pity!”


Filed under: Cradle, Leadership

13 Responses

  1. mariya says:

    Hm…maybe you are trying to be Abul Qasas hun? =P
    Nice story btw…

  2. Maverick says:

    Nope, not trying to be anyone except myself. The above was a story my mom told us quite a while back, amongst many other stories.

  3. Umme says:

    My dad repeats the same story to me everytime I talk abt Rizq.
    Pak/Indo thing I guess?

  4. Salafiya says:

    I wasn’t going to read it because it looked too long but I decided to and I’m glad. It was entertaining & had a good message. jazakAllaah khair.

  5. Maverick says:

    Funny how stories always seem longer on paper than they do in a movie or when being relayed verbally.

  6. mariya says:

    If i was the one to tell that same story it would be like a paragraph…at the most. =P

  7. mariya says:

    …uh…which is a good thing i meant =)

    (I dont like to read long posts either)

  8. Maverick says:

    Details folks, details 😀

    I mean, imagine if you cut out details. Stories would be like:

    “Yeah, so … there was like, this girl once upon a time, ya know? And ummm she like, got stuck in a rut. Her prince Charming found her and helped her out of the rut. And then they kinda got married, like ya know? And oh flip! Then they like, lived happily ever after?”


  9. Umm Khawla says:

    Well nothing really wrong with that ^ except there’s no happily ever afters.

  10. mariya says:

    Well my story kinda goes like this…

    Aik tha raaja

    Aik thi raani…

    Dono Mar gaye khatam kahaani

    Nice hun?

  11. Maverick says:

    yah, like a rebel without a cause … a raani without a castle …. har har har

    everyone snap yo fingers and sing along

    raaja raani
    drinkin’ paani
    eaatin’ funny
    kya insaani
    bebass naani
    khaana banaani
    supa’saani !!!

  12. Life 'Aint Black & White says:

    I’m contemplating between the two… Can’t decide which i like better… Mariya’s OR Mavericks’… Hmm.. 😛

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