When the lion became king of the beasts, he wanted to be known for his fairness. So, he gave up his old habits and limited himself to the same diet as his subjects, and dispensed justice with fairness and moderation.
As time went by, however, the lion's true nature was becoming restless beneath this veneer of civility. He devised a little strategy: he called an animal aside and asked him in private if his breath smelled. Regardless of the answer he received, he would gobble up the poor creature.
And so, one day it was the monkey's turn to be invited to this royal reception. As usual, the lion asked how his breath smelled.
"Your breath, your highness, smells of cinnamon, as if it were the very altar of the gods!" the monkey answered.
The lion thought it improper to kill someone who has uttered such beautiful, and true, words. But despite his magnanimity, his belly still growled.
So, the lion pretended that he was sick. The doctors were called right away, checked him thoroughly, and decided that everything was fine. They advised that he should eat something light and pleasant, to alleviate the nausea.
"Now that you mention it," the lion said, "I've never tried monkey meat. I would like to have a taste of that."