“From what I hear, the animals are on to your scheme,” the tiger said. “I hear that they have figured out your pattern of installing wolves and dogs on the throne, and now they are prepared to resist such an effort. I have reports that even the wolves are now uncertain of whether they should try such a coup again, they fear for their lives.”

“Ha ha ha ha!” roared the lion. “That doesn’t bother me. They’ll keep coming up with ideas to ruin their lives.”

“But I hear that in the next elections, the animals are looking to change the status quo. I hear that they are looking towards someone other than the donkeys and zebras. Maybe some stronger, smarter animal.”

“Yes yes, I know!” the lion nodded. “They were stuck with a hyena for a long time actually who forced them to realize that this democratic system could be manipulated to their detriment. But I am not worried.”

“So you have a plan?” asked the tiger curiously.

“Well, I do, but I might not need it. A lot of animals are going for a new king but not all of them. And as I said, numbers count in this jungle now. So, the new horse might not become the king after all.”

“There’s a horse?”

“Yes, a race horse. He is charming, beautiful and kind. And he won a number of races in his time, so he is very popular. But you see, the beauty of this system is, that whoever wants to be the king needs to have a team, all of whom are a part his government. And this horse’s team consists of old donkeys, zebras, and hyenas who were parts of the teams of previous kings as well. I know how to pull their strings.”

“He has all the same animals in his team?”

“Not all. There are other smaller animals who have never experienced government, who don’t know its pressures, and who have no idea of my strength. I will handle them. But that won’t be necessary. These animals would elect a donkey or a zebra anyway.”

“I hear the horse is doing well.”

“Animals throng to see him whenever he appears in a clearing in the jungle. But that doesn’t mean anything. Weaker animals, as I told you before, are larger in number. Lots of others can pull such crowds. Just sit back and enjoy the proceedings.”

“But the jungle is becoming a wasteland.”

“Who gives a shit?”

“The animals should.”

“I didn’t ask who should give a shit. I asked who does give a shit.” The lion roared.

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