There were five lions… their manes all golden and fire and they stared at him. The man was worried that the lions were going to pounce on him, devour him, consume him, leaving only bones, leaving only memories for his loved ones.
The lions were lions but they were not. These lions were demigods who chose to present as lions. The lions could read the mans thoughts and found them humorous.
The lions looked at each other. The lions could speak to each other with their eyes. They decided to let him squirm for a bit; It amused them to do so. They had to leave him for the Goddess anyway. It was her job to the kill as the female hunts, the male enjoys. Only humans got it wrong, but it wasn’t their fault, they decided to shun the truth because as they say, the truth hurts.
The man was sweating bullets now. He had heard many stories about the ferocity of lions and he had fear.
The biggest lion finally decided to break the silence.
“Man,” he said, “why are you so afraid? You act as though we are going to eat you.”
The man was shocked that a lion could actually speak. He was so lost in his fear that he couldn’t see that these weren’t any ordinary lions.
The man responded “Because you are lions and I am just a man. Lions eat men. I fear for my life.”
The biggest lion laughed.
“Man, you may die or you may live, of that, you have no control. All men die. But you can choose how you die. With that understanding, why have fear? Run or stay. When faced with lions, fear will not change the outcome. You may as well try something or just cut your own throat and give us less work to do.”
The man thought on this. He saw the truth of it and stood up and began to run.
At the moment, the lioness came into view, pounced on the man and tore his throat out.
The lioness said:
“At least it was quick”.