360 words | 3 mintue read | Flesch–Kincaid readability score: Grade 4

The mama animals and birds of the jungle were having an argument of sorts. Actually, it was a game of showmanship, regarding their little ones. They were trying to find out which one of them had the largest litter.

“I do,” said Mama Deer, and proudly displayed her brood of four sweet little deer.

“No, no…look at mine. See how sharp their teeth are!” exclaimed Mama Jackal whose six cubs bared their fangs. All the animals who had assembled backed off a little, but Mama Jackal assured everyone they were only grinning.

The Lion Cub
The Lion Cub [Illustration by Shinod AP]
“See how many I’ve got,” chirped Mama Sparrow, sitting high up on the branch of a pretty gulmohar tree. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine…hee hee.” And the little birdies put out their heads and tweeted.

“Your record is no patch on mine,” purred Mama Cat, whose litter of kittens was so large, it looked like a little army. “No one’s is,” she added.

“Sure, but your babies are too insignificant to count,” drawled someone else. The next second everyone joined in and there was complete chaos as everyone shouted louder to get heard.

“Let’s go to Mama Lion,” said someone and everyone agreed. So the animals trooped into the den of the Queen of the Forest. She was basking in the sun and looked very majestic as the mama animals approached her. They told her about their dispute and requested her help.

“We all have so many offspring, but we can’t be sure about who has the largest brood,” they said to Mama Lion. “What about you?” they asked.

“Me?” she laughed. “I have just one,” and she pointed to the frisky little cub running about her.

“Only one! That’s all?” exclaimed the animals.

“Yes,” said the proud mother “…and he’s going to be King of the Forest some day. So tell me friends, what use is a large brood to me?”

The mama animals were forced to agree that in the long run the lion cub would matter more than all of their little ones put together.