Once there was a lion who lived in a cage in a wilderness. He did not like living in a cage, but he was put in the cage by his master.
He was strong and he used to run free, but now he was in a cage. The master fed the lion food to make him sleep. Soon the lion began to like sleeping. He would sleep all day. Visitors came to the cage and wondered why this lion was sleeping all day.
The master had trained the lion so that he never growled anymore--he just slept all the time. He even had a sleepy look on his face when he was awake. Some people called him Sleepy. Sleepy wake up!
Don't bother me, he said, can't you see I'm sleeping?
One day Sleepy's friend, another lion, escaped from the cage next to Sleepy's. Sleepy could have escaped too, but he was busy sleeping. And when he got up and found the other lion gone, he was very angry. I'll never sleep again, he said. I'll never sleep again!
Now when it came time to eat, the master got angry because Sleepy wouldn't eat the food that made him sleep. Sleepy wasn't a fool!
The master couldn't understand his lion. Eat! the master told Sleepy. Sleepy growled for the first time in a long time. The master jumped back he was so shocked.
The master got his whip and went into the cage. Eat! he said, cracking the whip over Sleepy's head. Sleepy growled, turned and ran to the master and began eating him to death....
Fable of the Sleeping Lion was published in Black World magazine, June, 1970. It was published in Woman, Man's Best Friend by El Muhajir/Marvin X, Al Kitab Sudan Press, 1973. Now printed in The Wisdom of Plato Negro, parables/fables.
PARABLE OF THE GANGSTA BY MARVIN X
Parable of the Gangsta
He wanted to be a gangsta since childhood. He watched his big brothers gang banging, in and out of prison, the funerals, parties with more wine than they had at the Last Supper. Females were always on hand serving the brothers, raising their babies, visiting them in jail and prison. Big cars, flashy clothes, bling bling, the little brother watched and waited his turn.
When it was time for him to join, he got ready for the initiation. On that day he was required to kill and rape. He was ready. No matter his mother was a hard working house cleaner who took the bus to work. She wanted none of her children's ill gotten gain. She was a Christian woman who tried to get him into college, rather than go the path of her other sons.
But he had other plans. He didn't want to be a square. He hated squares. They were, in his mind, suckers for the white man. He saw them with their suits and ties and brief cases, thinking they were all that and a bag of chips. He saw them in the dope house coping, along with their square girls. When the girls got sprung, they would leave the square nigguhs for the dope man.
He watched the square brothers get broke and turn tricks with the dope man in front of their women. He vowed to his dead gangsta brothers he would not be a square, but would be like them, even though they didn't want him to end up like them, in prison or a coffin early in life. Thursdays was gang initiation night in the hood.
Most people stayed off the street on Thursdays, unless people got off work late and had to walk home. Anyone could be a victim if caught on the street. He drove around looking for a victim, not far from his house. It didn't matter who it was. On a dim lighted street he saw a woman and snatched her onto the ground, tearing off her clothes. She screamed and yelled but he didn't care, especially since he was loaded on dope and out of his mind.
He didn't bother to look at the woman's face as he raped her. When he finished he turned her around and got the shock of his life. She was his mother! He ran to his car in shame and horror.When he got home he took out his gun and shot himself in the head and fell to the floor dead. He was now a gangsta.
Parable of the Man
With the Gun in Hand
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