A lioness made it clear that she was looking for a lion to start a pride,
but not just any lion - she was looking for a lion who was a king, since she was from a good family.
All lions are kings, but she wanted one that was a king over kings. Lots of lions lined up and told her that they too came from good families and ruled over many lions on their particular plains. Others came from not-so-good families and told her that they had become self-merited lion kings of their kingdoms.
Then came one lion who presented himself in a very modest way and just said,
"Hello. I'm a lion."
"But what kind of a lion are you?", asked the lioness.
"Just a lion," he replied.
"I see," she said cautiously. No lion had ever introduced himself to her like that before.
"So where do you come from?" she asked.
"From my kingdom," he simply replied.
"And how many lions do you govern over in your kingdom?" she asked.
"None at all," he said. "I live alone there as a lion, but there are many animals I get along with."
"I see," she said, and considered the lion's suitability.
The lioness was looking for a certain archetypal lion, one that was a real king. She thought about dismissing him like all the others, but his naivety and honesty appealed to her somewhat.
"But who are you?" she continued.
"I'm a lion," he answered.
"I know you're a lion, but what family do you come from?"
"I'm from the lion family," he replied, "Just like you."
That's right, she thought, "But don't you know who you are?" she asked, inquisitively.
The lion did not know what to answer. He quietly retreated and padded wearily all the way home to the plains, pondering over who on earth he might be if not a lion.
He ruled over many animals who liked him, so when he got back, he decided to ask them who they thought he was. First he asked the birds, since they fly high and see all from above. They surely would know.
"You are a lion," they said, just like he thought he was, indeed a lion and nothing else.
Then he asked the giraffes. They were more connected to life on the land because they walked on it, yet they saw everything from on high. Surely they would know who he was.
But they gave him the same answer. "You are a lion!" He was just a lion, indeed a king is all, but nothing else.
Then came the cats to the lion.
There lived many cats in his realm. How wise were they.
"We have a secret to tell you," they said. "You know, all lions are part of the cat family. Therefore dear lion, you are, in fact, a cat."
Oh, the lion was so happy he had finally solved the problem and knew who he was! He hopped and jumped from side to side with joy and rushed off to tell the lioness the good news. Perhaps now she'd want him to see him.
When he got to the lioness's palace, there were still many lions lining up.
Again he waited in line and when it was his turn, all the other lions fell silent expectantly.
The lioness was surprised to see the lion again, and she was curious as to why he had returned.
"I am a cat," the lion proudly announced.
When all the other lions heard this they roared loudly with laughter at him. The lioness too was surprised at his own allegation, and he felt so humiliated, that he ran away.
Sadly, the lion walked back to his kingdom. He had been so happy about his revelation and thought the lioness would be impressed by it too, but unfortunately she wasn't at all.
When he got back, the wise cats came to greet him again.
"Dear king, back from your travels, were they fruitful?," they asked.
"Not good at all," he said. "The other lions ridiculed and roared at me, it was terrible."
"Have no fear, dear king," said the wise cats. "There might be a way we could set things straight for you and the lioness."
"Is there?" exclaimed the lion.
"Well," said the cats, "if you're not from the cat family and therefore not a cat, then we must be from the lion family and therefore all lions. As lions, you govern over us and there are thousands of us, if not more."
Oh the lion was so happy! He was indeed a distinguished king without even knowing it and he had been ruling over so many lions all this time.
He journeyed back to the lioness to tell her of this discovery and this time he made more sense which left a great impression to the lioness, especially his persistence, so she decided to go and see this kingdom of his for herself.
He showed her his land where all the once-were cats turned lions dwelt and she met all the other animals.
The lion and the lioness fell in love and lived together in his kingdom, which is now their kingdom, happily ever after, and everyday,
till this day.