One day, a shepherd was guiding his sheep near a jungle, when he came across a poor, helpless little lion cub. There were no parents around and the cub was almost dying. So the shepherd scooped it up and took it home.
When he had nurtured it back to health, he put it in the barn with his sheep. Every day the little lion would go out with the sheep. As time passed, the cub got bigger and bigger, playing and grazing with the sheep. This was all he knew.
One day while the sheep were in the field, a huge lion stepped out from the jungle. And the lion roared mightily. All the sheep started running around trying to hide, and so did the little lion!
The big lion went over to this little lion, (who wasn’t that little anymore) and said, “Why are you scared of me?” “I am a poor little sheep and you will eat me! Please don’t eat me.”
“Eat you? Don’t you know who you are? Why are you pretending to be a sheep?” “Oh, please don’t eat me.” “You are a lion! Come with me.”
And he took the little lion to a pond and said, “Now look.” And when the little lion looked into the still water of the pond, he was shocked. “I’m not a sheep! I don’t look like them; I look like you!”
“Yes! Can’t you see? You are like me. Now roar with me, because you’re not a sheep—you’re a lion!” So the little lion roared and he started thanking the big lion. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
“Oh, don’t thank me. I didn’t do anything,” the big lion said. “Even before I stepped out of that jungle, you were a lion. All I did was show you who you truly are. Living with the sheep, you forgot. And today, when I brought you to this pond, you saw your reflection. And now you know. You have no doubt.”