Essay on The Lion and the Ox

Words: 1808
Pages: 8

Omar Malas
Professor Legassick
Kalila wa Dimna The Lion and the Ox is a one of the oldest and most popular pieces of classic Arabic literature. Originally from India, this animal fable is famous for its inclusion of many other animal fables, each of which help provide the characters of the story with advice regarding their situation. Unlike The Arabian Nights, which also uses a frame tale that contains each tale, multiple animals share their wisdom with one another. The wisdom of the story’s two main characters, Kalila and Dimna, help foreshadow and motivate the events of the frame tale and bring it to a reasonable yet tragic conclusion. Kalila, one of the two main jackals of the frame tale, is living in the court of the
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In an effort to get back the shawl, the villagers leave the raven to escape and kill the snake. The moral here is clearly applicable: the original plan, to claw the snake’s eyes out, could have cost the raven its life. However, when the raven used cunning, it was able to kill the snake and save itself. The events of the rest of the story can then be predicted; Dimna will use cunning, not brute force, to destroy the ox (Arberry). Dimna will pit the lion against the ox. Kalila is skeptical of the plan, not seeing how the lion would betray his closest friend, the ox.
Dimna provides the practical explanation for his devious plan with the story of the lion and the hare. Each day the lion would eat just one woodland creature, but would scare the whole lot of them as a result. The animals consulted the lion and agreed that they would send one animal each day to the lion for him to eat provided the lion stops chasing them. The lion agrees. One day, a hare steps forward to volunteer himself for the lion, saying he will put an end to the lion’s abuse. He approaches the lion slowly almost an hour after dinner time, causing the lion to be furious. The hare explains that he was traveling with another hare, but another lion attacked them, claiming that the main lion had no right to the animals considering he was stronger than him. The lion