There was once a powerful lion called Bhasuraka who ruled the jungle. He was merciless and killed other animals indiscriminately.
One day, all the animals went together to the lion to surrender. They said, “O Master, you kill many of us every day without necessity. One animal a day is enough to satisfy your hunger. Please come to an understanding. Starting from today, we promise to offer one amongst us to you every day. In this way, you will not have to hunt and many of our lives will be spared.”
In accordance to the understanding, the animals drew lots, and the unlucky animal that got chosen was sent to the lion. The others roamed about the jungle without any fear of being attacked by the lion.
He roared, “I am the master of this jungle. From today, you will offer yourselves to me and none other. The other lion is an imposter. If not, let him accept my challenge to a trial of strength. Whoever proves to be stronger, will rule the jungle. I will allow one of you hares to carry this message to him, and hold the rest of you as hostages.”
The hare humbly continued, “This is the reason only I, among the five of us, am here. I have arrived late for the same reason. Please take action that you think will be best”.
On hearing this, the lion grew even more furious. He roared, “Take me to this pretender at once. I will destroy him. Only after that will my anger be quenched.”
The hare then led the lion to the well he had come across on his way.