A pride of lions lived on a grassland in some far-off place. The leader of the pride was a young lion, whose brown mane had earned him the name, Brown.
The pride ruled the vast grassland and was known for its efficient hunting. Nothing, it is said, could escape its attack.
Lions not part of the pride did not dare step into the grassland. Even humans living in the villages around the grassland stayed away.
One day, the pride walked towards the farthest part on the west of the grassland. There stood a hamlet inhabited by only a few dozen people.
Brown took a closer look at the village to find out if there was any threat to the lions. Finding no danger, he returned satisfied and smiling.
“They are just a bunch of scared people. They can never be a threat to us,” he told the pride.
When the head of the village spotted the lions, he was terrified. His small frame, for which he was given the moniker, Little, appeared even smaller.
He immediately summoned the villagers to discuss the situation.
“We must talk to Brown and provide some offerings to save our village,” an old villager suggested.
The other villagers accepted the old man’s suggestion.
Little was then sent to negotiate with Brown.
“We appeal to you to never attack our village. In return, we will never step closer to your grassland. We will also provide food for your pride every Friday,” the village head told Brown.
The lion accepted the offer.
As per the agreement, the village provided meat to the pride every week.
The pride was happy as the lions did not have to hunt anymore. The food for the lions was coming in easily and in abundance.
Every Friday, Brown would send one member of the pride to fetch food from the village.
With time, the lions became used to getting food without making an effort.
Soon, the lions forgot how to hunt.
The villagers had been observing the lions all this while.
One day, the village head again summoned the villagers.
“We have been feeding the lions for a long time now and they have got used to our service. We must put an end to the danger posed by them,” he suggested.
On Friday, when a lioness came to the village for food, the villagers captured her and put her in a cage.
The lioness could not fight back the villagers as she had long forgotten how to fight.
The pride waited the whole day for the food, but in vain.
Angry, Brown led the pride to the village.
The villagers were waiting for them.
“Where is our food and the lioness?” asked Brown.
“She attacked us, breaking the deal. We have put her in a beautiful iron box where she is enjoying her meal,” Little lied.
“We will have to make a new deal now. All of you must live inside these iron boxes here in the village. We will continue to feed you and will also protect you.”
The lions were tempted by the offer of food yet again and could not decline it.
One by one, the lions stepped into the cages, which the villagers quickly locked.
The villagers took over the grassland where the lions lived. They cultivated rice and wheat on it.
The villagers invited people from other villages and towns to see the caged lions.
The village became rich and famous. The dominance of the lions was long forgotten.