THE EXISTENTIALIST GAZELLE
(A Fable in the Manner of Bierce)
Having thought things through, an Existentialist Gazelle approached a Lion.
The Lion, who was resting in the shade, roused himself from his near-slumber. He was surprised to see the Existentialist Gazelle standing in front of him.
“What can I do for you?” said the Lion (politely, for he was a Noble Beast).
“I’m here to be eaten,” said the Existential Gazelle.
“I beg your pardon?” said the Lion.
“I’m here to be eaten,” the Existential Gazelle repeated. “I know it is my eventual fate to be your prey. I accept this, but frankly the waiting is causing me great anxiety. I would rather take command of my destiny, and so here I am.”
“But I just ate your cousin a couple of days ago,” said the Lion. “I’m not hungry yet.”
The Existential Gazelle had nothing to say.
“And besides,” the Lion continued, “I can think of nothing more unappetizing than killing someone who isn’t running away from me as fast as they possibly can. The hunt – that is the best part of the experience. Now please, return to your herd and let me resume my nap. I suggest you focus on enjoying each moment, and stop worrying so much about the future. What will come… will come soon enough.”
The Existential Gazelle bowed his head in respect, for he saw the wisdom in the Lion’s words. He backed away slowly, and then turned and bounded quickly across the veldt.
As the sight of the swiftly retreating Gazelle, the Lion felt his stomach grumble, and he rose to his feet.
“Ah, now, that’s more like it,” he said to himself… and took off in hot pursuit.