Once upon a time there was a lion named Lenny. He was young, and spent a lot of time with other lion cubs learning how to be the best he could be.
For some reason, the other young lions liked to pick on Lenny. They would tease him and tell him that he was a tiger.
One day, Lenny was crying by the river. His friend, a large Shoebill bird named Buster, saw him from the sky. He flew down and landed beside Lenny.
“Why are you crying?” Buster the bird asked.
“I’m sad because all of my friends call me a tiger. And tigers don’t even live in Africa!” Lenny dropped his head.
“Do you believe you’re a tiger?” Buster asked.
“No, of course not,” replied Lenny.
“So why do you think they’re calling you a tiger?” the bird questioned.
Lenny responded, “Because they don’t like me.”
The bird chuckled. “No, Lenny, they are teasing you because they don’t like themselves. You believe you are a lion, right?”
“Yes,” Lenny respnded.
“Then focus on being a lion, my friend, and don’t worry about those people calling you a tiger. Their words can’t change you.
The only thing that can change you is if you believe what they say. Now go be an incredibly beautiful, strong lion and let the teasing of those other lions people go. They will figure out their own story in due time. They aren’t in charge of telling yours.”
As Buster his bird friend flew away, Lenny looked in the water and roared.