At El Pimental beach in El Salvador, there is a beach resort called Rancho Estero y Mar, where our Habitat for Humanity team stayed for their R&R day. At the morning buffet, by the restaurant, there were 2 goats tied to ceramic statues of lions. One of the restaurant staff milked the goat’s milk into a styrofoam cup and gave it to a fellow guest to drink (she had asked for it). If you’re ever looking for fresh goat’s milk in El Salvador to eat with your beans and plaintains, consider Rancho Estero y Mar.
Seeing the lion statue and the goat reminded me of an Indian story that I heard while I was at UBC in the ArtsOne program. It was told to by my prof, Dr. Ken Bryant. I hadn’t thought this story for long long time until I saw this goat tied to the lion. Clearly Dr. Bryant was a good storyteller because I remember this story so many years later. An Indian story remembered in El Salvador.
There was once a lion cub who was raised as a goat. He bleeted and ate grass like the other goats, because he never knew any differently. One day, a big lion attacked the flock and all of the goats ran away, including the Lion-Goat. The Big Lion was surprised to see a lion run as if he were a goat, and said to him “What are you doing running away? You’re a lion!”
The Lion-Goat was afraid and ran away from the Big Lion, but eventually the Big Lion caught the Lion-Goat. He dragged him to the water to show him his own reflection, and how similar it was to his own. “You’re not a goat, you’re a lion!” he told him. Then, the Big Lion killed a goat, dragged it over to the Lion-Goat and said “Eat!”
The Lion-Goat was horrified, having been a vegetarian his whole life. “Eat it! Or I will kill you!” said the Big Lion.
Miserably, he looked at the goat carcass, crying. But at first bite, the Lion-Goat knew with the taste of the goat’s blood, that it was what he had always been made for.
Moral of the Story: Ignoring the ethics about the Lion-Goat suddenly knowing that he was born to eat his brother and sister goats, the story has to do with the limitations and our conditioned fears.
The Goat and the Lion
I found another story that I liked when I Googled “Lion and Goat Story”. I’m going to shorten it here.
Once upon a time there was an old she-goat. One day when it was getting dark, she could not find her way back so she decided to enter a cave. Inside of it she found a lion. She was frightened and stood still for a moment, then thought of what she could do. She walked boldly up to the lion as if she were not afraid of him at all.
“Who are you?” he asked her.
“I am the Queen of the Goats,” she replied. “I came to devour a hundred tigers, twenty-five elephants and ten lions. I have already eaten the hundred tigers and the twenty five elephants and now I am looking for the ten lions.”
The lion was very much surprised to hear this, and believing the goat, had really come to devour him, got out of the cave saying that he was going to wash his face in the river.
As he was rushing out, he met a jackal who seeing the king of the beasts in a panic, asked what the matter was.
The lion told the jackal about his meeting with a strange-looking animal, like a goat, but who was not afraid of him at all. The jackal was very clever. He soon guessed that the cause of the lion’s fear was only a poor old she-goat. And he told the lion that it was the boldness of a weak old animal who didn’t wish to be devoured.
“Come back with me to your cave, and make a meal of this pretender”, he suggested.
The lion returned with the jackal. When the goat saw the lion returning, she understood everything, but she did not lose her courage. She walked towards them and said to the jackal, “Is this the way you carry out my orders? I sent you to get me ten lions to eat at once, and you have brought me only one!”
As soon as the lion heard this, he thought he had been betrayed by the jackal. He fell on him and tore him to pieces.
Seeing this, the goat walked out of the cave and ran away as quickly as she could.
Moral of the Story: Staying calm and collected, makes you look the part. Your intelligence takes you the rest of the way.
References (in case you want to read the full stories)
Yogiji Maharaj. Lindiyo – The Lion-Goat
Mulk Raj Anand. The Lion and the Goat