The Dung Beetle and the Wildebeest

A dung beetle came across an old, hoary wildebeest, weeping and wailing all by itself in the savannah one day.

“Why are you weeping?”

“I used to be the king of the wildebeest. But times are hard and my herd is starving. They chose a younger king and left me here to die because I am useless and was taking up all the pasture.”

“I can help you find good pasture,” the dung beetle said. “If you will come with me.”

“I have roamed these savannahs for years. Where is the furthest that your little ball of dung has taken you?”

“I have soared on the backs of vultures, and seen more than you have. Will you come or not? If you do, you will be king once more.”

The wildebeest eagerly accepted, and followed the dung beetle. It led him to a lush valley full of verdant pasture and trees.

“If you lead your herd to this place, you will be king once more.”

The old wildebeest went back to his herd, and led them to the green pasture. They immediately proclaimed him king of the herd, and held a big celebration because they would no longer starve to death. As they celebrated and feasted, they failed to notice a flock of vultures circling overhead, and a pack of hyenas closing in on them. Soon they were surrounded, and the only way out of the valley was blocked.

The wildebeest turned to their re-instated king.

“Why did you bring us here?” they asked him. “We are all going to die.”

“That useless dung-pushing beetle tricked us,” the king of the wildebeest replied.

“Oh, but the dung wasn’t useless,” the dung beetle answered as the vulture on whose back it was seated perched on the ground. “It made you underestimate my intelligence. And for calling me useless, I will order my hyenas to devour you first.”