There was once a herd of sheep grazing in a field near a cliff. As they were happily ingesting the blades of grass, they saw a group of dark figures heading toward them.
One sheep cried, “Wolves! Wolves!” The entire group panicked, and, being sheep, they ran in the opposite direction, toward the cliff. They reached the edge, and stood there waiting for their inevitable demise.
All of a sudden, the sheep heard a mighty roar in the distance. The dark figures froze for a few minutes, and then retreated.
“Hooray! We’re saved!” cried one sheep.
“We must thank the one who saved us!” cried another.
As they rejoiced, a might lion strolled casually toward the group.
“Are you the one who saved us?” declared the sheep.
“No, I did not save you. It was the Great Lion who lives in the sun,” said the lion.
The sheep began dancing around, all the while praising the Great Lion. They begged the mighty lion to escort them to a nearby field, and he agreed. He watched over them throughout the night.
The next morning, the lion gathered all the sheep together.
“Last night, the Great Lion appeared to me in a dream. He saved your lives, and in return, he demands a sacrifice. We must go back to the cliff upon which you were liberated and offer up three of your lives,” the lion demanded authoritatively.
At first, the sheep were frightened, but they were so grateful to the Great Lion that they agreed. He led them to the cliff once more, and three sheep stepped forward.
“Do not be afraid,” the lion roared. “You will go to be with the Great Lion forever."
The lion took the three sheep and led them to the very edge of the cliff. The others watched while the lion began conducting the rite, preparing them for the sacrifice.
As they watched, a hungry pack of wolves advanced toward them. The sheep were so busy praising the Great Lion that they didn’t notice. They flanked the group, and gobbled up the sheep one by one. The others were oblivious to what was going on, and the wolves continued until there were none left.
“Thanks for the tasty meal, lion,” said the leader of the pack. “You were right. Sneaking in undetected proved to be much more fruitful than charging in and eating only the slowest. It was a great setup. How did you do it?”
“I told them they had been saved by the ‘Great Lion,’” he said sarcastically. “They were so thankful that they would do anything I told them to do. I had them so fooled that they were willing to throw themselves over the cliff if I told them it was the will of the ‘Great Lion.’”
The pack broke into laughter at this, and the lion laughed heartily with them. “The oldest trick in the book. As we agreed, this entire domain is yours,” said the leader. “I hope we can do business again.”
Don’t let authorities fool you into doing things that defy common sense. If you aren’t careful, they can and will manipulate you, sometimes for their own gain, sometimes for a laugh.
"Herd Mentality" by Franz Heiner & Mark Trump
Rating - 136/200
Judge Mr. Mayank Sharma