(Story theme by Princess Isis Ezat)
By Lawyer Asad
It was not so long ago and not so recent when people still believed in the fairies, the dwarfs, cursed and miracles. Mother Earth had clean atmosphere and population was not that great to make even the dense forests their habitats by ousting the original habitats of the jungles.
In such a jungle a lion lived. His name was Simba. Other animals had chosen him as their King and the King of the Jungle.
In that forest lions are not found. But some how this one has migrated from a distant place when he was a Cub of few months. May be some traders had bought it to gift his wife back at home to keep it as a pet. Or some King required it for his army of predators and animals.
One morning while a mother Leopard was roaming on the sea side then she found the Cub lying on the beach, alone, deserted and hungry. She had instantly adopted him and milked him to fill his stomach. He was too weak to walk. So she had lifted him by holding him tendering between her jaws and carried him home.
After about a month's of nourishment he was restored to his health. Growing up as a healthy, young and handsome Lion he was stepping into his youth. His Leopard Mum took great care of him. Taught him valuable lessons of her life and experience. It moulded the character of the Lion.
He killed animals only when he was hungry and never killed for game or fun. Spared the kids and females and didn't touch them even if he had found them many a times as easy prey. He took great care of his foster Mom! But as the life would be his mother had also completed her time and passed away.
The reigning King of the Jungle, an Owl, who was named as Oz also died of age. Be it the kingdom of animals but it can't be without a King.
The animals voted Simba as their King. Because he was a natural leader and a natural choice for his amiable nature.
The cave where Simba lived was a big one and it became even more bigger after death of his Leopard foster mother.
Simba was happy with his subjects. Every animal could approach him without fear to tell him about their problems. He used to sit in his Court regularly to attend the complaints of his subjects. But there was only few complaints and thats also once in a while. He had appointed monkies as his messenger for bringing news from the distant part of the forest. Elephant being the wise animal was appointed as his minister.
Most of the times during these court meeting animals gifted him preys which they've hunted and thought to give it to the King. Simba won't take such preys of deers, Zebras, bisons or wildbeasts as gift from his subjects because he knew how hard it was to hunt an animal for food. So he'd order some of his leopard brothers to divide the dead animal in four parts and give the half to the animal who had brought it. One fourth would go to the animals present in the court and the final one fourth is given to the old and infirm animals who're sick, aged and incapable of hunting their own prey.
Simba's days were passing happily.
The seasons came and seasons went.
Once in the winter time he was loitering lazily at a vast plain of the jungle. The migratory birds were flying over the sky going from North to South for the warm weather from their frigid weather.
Suddenly a Swan had fallen from the sky before him. It was wounded and bleeding profusedly from its wings. Simba approached to the Swan to enquire the matter.
Seeing a full size lion approaching her, the Swan crackled and told that she's wounded from an arrow and thats still stuck in her left wing.
Simba went near her inspected the wound. It was time for action to save the life of the Swan rather than pondering.
Simba made a sound. It was not like the regular roar but a kind of sound which seemed like calling for someone from the distant.
Within a minute a monkey appeared. The monkey could gather situation and set itself near the Swan to draw out the arrow from its wing. The Swan quacked in pain but somehow tolerated the pain. The arrow was out. The monkey ran into the forest to return in few minutes.
He had brought some leaves, grass and unknown herbs with him. Put all those things in his mouth, chewed and applied the paste on the wound of the Swan. The bleeding stopped and the Swan started feeling some relieved. But it was weak from the bleeding.
Simba asked if she can walk with him. She replied in negative. So he had ordered the monkey to put her on his back and walked towards his den. Upon reaching the cave Simba lowered his back by sitting on the ground to facilitate the Swan to descend from back.
My name is Simba and I'm the King of this Jungle. Whats your name? Simba asked the Swan.
I've several names but the one I like most is Wezza which means Swan. You can call me Wezza. The Swan replied.
Well, Wezza, what I see from your condition is that it'd not be possible for you to fly now. So I invite you to be my guest till you recover fully and regain your strength to fly again.
Wezza had no option but accept the invitation of Simba.
Wezza was a full grown female and very beautiful. Feathers of her wings glossed like shinny metal under the Sun. She was majestic and when she walked she looked very beautiful.
Her eyes were deep and it looked like deep ocean. Perhaps the most beautiful eyes.
After depositing Wezza inside the cave Simba had went out in search of food for her. He knew that Swans mostly eat fishes and shells.
So he went to a nearby stream and caught a fish.
Upon returning to the Cave he found Wezza was still standing on the floor and looking with displeasure in her eyes.
Whats the matter? You're supposed to take rest. Simba enquired.
You call it your home? Palace of the King? Its so dirty and smelling foul. How do you live in this dustbin King?
Wezza asked to Simba.
Simba was embarassed and muttered.
Stop! You don't have to explain. I've understood everything. You better get a wife to make your home clean and tidy for inhabitation. Bachelors would never learn how to live.
Hmmm....Simba somehow managed to agree with Wezza.
Call your forces and tell them that from today they'll carry out what I order them in home.
Simba was dumb founded and stood there perplexed.
Do you hear me? Or the ego of the mighty King of the Jungle is hurt at my words?
No...no...not that. Well yes...errr...actually I've never thought about it...errr...you know...my mother used to look after all these home matters but since her death I've not even sweeped the floor for once. Sorry.
I'm calling the monkey.
Simba managed to flee from there. He thought it better to live outside than face the stern temper of Wezza. He had never imagined that any animal, lest this feathered one can admonish him or even give him orders.
Simba was clueless about his forthcoming duties and sought the counsel of Jumbo, the minister. He had found Jumbo standing under a tree after a sumptious lunch of a tonne of green grass and plantain leaves and taking rest. Eyes were closed but his trunk and tail was moving to drive away the flees.
He listened to his King while moving his big head from side to side.
He thought for a moment after Simba finished detailing him then told, my lord, she's your guest and its you who has invited her to be the royal guest. So my lord has to make arrangements for her full comfort during her stay as guest.
Simba has summoned Chimpu, the monkey, and told her to carry on every order Wezza gives to him. Monkey was very happy. And instantly visited the royal guest at the Cave and asked for her requirements.
Wezza ordered him to bring some sweeping birds to clean the floor, the cobwebs. Remove the bones of eaten animals from the corners of the cave and lastly wash the entire cave by the elephants.
Simba was wandering aimlessly in the jungle wondering what next is in store for him.
Long after the Sun was set and thinking that she must be sound asleep after a heavy meal of the fish he had brought to her he entered the cave silently. Unconsciously he was humming a tune when entered into his den. But after walking few steps into the cave he stood and thought that his head has gone ashtray. Because he has mistakenly entered into someone else's home. He was about to retreat by turning his back.
Is it the time for your return? And even after returning where're you going again?
Simba stopped from retreating. Its his home and Wezza is awake.
I mean...I mean....I thought. Simba stammered.
Wezza was on the verge of breaking into a loud laughter by seeing the pathetic condition of him but checked her emotions and told, it doesn't matter what you mean....you guys will always be guys...can't live modestly in a clean environment without the help of Moms. The grown up kid.
Look around and be confirmed that its the same home which you had left at noon. You've not entered in someone else's home but your own.
Simba looked around and appreciated the work of Wezza.
He wanted to thank her but she stopped him and told, now go and eat like a good boy. You dinner is waiting over there. It can be seen from your face that you've not eaten anything since morning.
Now go please and eat.
Why hadn't you slept? Enquired Simba.
Sleep? How can I sleep when the man of the house is out and starving?
Stop talking and concentrate on your food.
Simba moved at the direction pointed by Wezza.
More surprises were waiting for him.
On a banana leaf the fish was put. Neatly shelled and cut to pieces.
Simba was hungry so he instantly started eating. But after few seconds he thought that he has committed another mistake again.
He sheepishly looked back and asked, have you eaten?
Ah.....I thought you've no such manner to ask a lady if she has taken her dinner or not. But I'm glad you had asked me at last.
For your kind information, its not the custom at my place to eat before the house of the man. So please don't talk any more and finish your meal. I'm starving too.
Oh...I'm sorry. All he could say and started eating the food he has been served. During his early days when he was too young to catch a prey his foster mother used to serve him food. If you call it serving. Because all she did is kill an animal, carry it to a safe place and eat it. She knew that Simba would come and take his share. And it happened as she thought. Simba would go to the killed animal which his mother Leopard was guarding and shoved his face inside the animal to bite pieces of meat from the caracass.
Simba was feeling happy while eating. In just few hours this feathered woman has changed his home and served him food on a platter.
After finishing their meals, Simba, as usual tried to sprawl on the floor. But there was a sharp quack from Wezza, when you'd grow up and act like a gentleman?
What happened again? Simba enquired.
Don't you know beds are for sleeping and not floors? Wezza quipped. Your bed is over there go there and sleep in comfort. I want to make the residents of this house to behave themselves and follow some rules.
Aye...aye...! Simba agreed.
But before sleeping I'd like that you come over here sit with me and talk to me for sometime. Simba couldn't make up if that was an order or a request.
Anyways, he had to abide by it.
He moved near her. She came to him and softly said, what kind of chivlarly you have? I'm your guest but you've no interest about me or don't want to know about me. She complained.
Listen, I'm the King of the Jungle, but I've no skill in communicating with ladies. I used to talk with my Mum a lot but after her death I've not talked to any female.
I see. Then I'll have to work harder to make you proficient in that skill too.
Before sleeping both talked on various matters for an hour. Wezza cleaned his mane with her beak. Simba felt very light headed and fell asleep instantly. He was snoring loudly by sleeping on his back.
She had pecked his ribs to make him move in his side so that his snorings stopped. And it worked. He stopped snoring.
Wezza has taken the total control of the house and she was the final words in domestic matters. Simba was feeling very happy. He has stopped eating animal meats and now feasting on fish which he catches fresh from the stream.
For the first time in his life Simba was feeling an attachment for someone.
There's no prize for guessting who's that "someone"!
He was amazed at her beauty. Wezza accompanied him to the stream and swam. Simba would look on and on at her. She was so beautiful. She looked so fresh after bath.
Many a nights they would sit together outside of the cave and look towards the moon on the sky. Wezza told him many stories about her home land, culture, habits etc.
Simba knew from her that there's a country where snow can be seen for most of the time of the year. She had told him about her parents, siblings and her son back at home.
Oh my God! You're mother of a son? Simba exclaimed.
Yes I am. Wezza replied. You know whats his name? I lovingly call him Hansa. It also mean a Swan.
I see. Mother is Swan and son is also a Swan. No wonder birds of a feather flocks together. Simba laughed at his own joke and Wezza also joined him.
Days passed. Wezza is now fully cured from her wound.
Simba was feeling a certain kind of pain in his heart at the prospect of her leaving.
He knew he's in love with her. His life would lose its salt without her.
Season was changing and it was time for Wezza's return.
On their last evening when they were sitting together after dinner the situation became heavy; the atmosphere gloomy.
Both had heaved heart at the probability of departure from each other. They didn't know if they'd meet ever next time or not.
Simba cleared his throat and softly said, Wezza can't you live here permanently?
But what about my son back at home?
Bring him along or next season he'd grow enough to fly over to a warm country like his Mum then you could call him to join us.
Wezza knew she was also in love with Simba. But feeling too shy to express her feelings to him.
The air between the two became heavy. Simba thought if he doesn't take make any move instantly then he'd lose Wezza forever.
He moved to her and hugged her.
Instantly, there was a brilliant light to blind him. His eyes were closed from that bright light.
When he opened his eyes, Wezza was not there and in her place stood a beautiful woman.
She smiled and kissed Simba on his face. It shivered Simba to the core and something stirred in him. He was shrinking in his skin.
In a few moments he had turned into a handsome young man.
Simba's jaw dropped and eyes widened.
Wezza softly told that she was a beautiful girl in her native land. But mistakenly she had angered an witch who had cursed her to become a Swan. At that time she had a son and when she became a Swan her husband had deserted her.
Wezza cried and had fallen on the feet of the witch to take back her curse.
The witch had expressed her inability to take back her curse but she was moved by the appeals of Wezza and also felt repentant for her sharp temper.
She has taken Wezza to her Master and narrated him everything which happened.
The Master was a wiseman and could foresee the future. He told her that there's a man in the forest at the East. But for his deeds he has been a lion. If he loves you truly and hugs with a desire to be with you for his entire life then you'd get back your original body. And after getting back your human body if you kiss him then he'll also be free from his Karma and become a human.
Simba felt very happy and both of them got locked in a deep hug.