The Lion’s Field
There once was a lion who owned a field of lush green grass. The lion had one rule: “If any animal should come into my field, it will surely die.”
One day a young buck wandered into the lion’s field and started eating the grass, for it was delicious. The lion jumped on him immediately and explained his one rule.
The young buck cried out, “Good sir Lion, do not eat me for I did not know your rule.”
The lion, who wasn’t particularly hungry at the time, decided to let the young buck go free, but warned him to stay out of his field. The next day the lion spotted the young buck eating in his field again.
“What are you doing here in my field?” asked the lion.
The young buck replied, “You were so gracious to me yesterday, I assumed you would not eat me today either.”
The lion, who was still not very hungry, again let the young buck live. The same thing happened the next day and the day after that, until finally the young buck thought he could go into the lion’s field whenever he wanted. Then one day when the young buck was eating in the field, the lion pounced on him ferociously.
“Why are you attacking me?” asked the young buck.
The lion responded, “You knew my one rule. Did you think I would be gracious forever?”
Moral: Do not mistake forgiveness for permission.