He thought, "I'm getting old and one day, I'm going to die. A wise ruler should pick a successor while still young and healthy."
But how could King Leopard choose? He loved all the members of the animal kingdom the same!
He was going to have a big party and he was going to make an important announcement.
Away the messengers ran, to all four corners of the forest.
After the moon had risen above the trees, King Leopard came and stood in the middle of the clearing. The animals stopped their singing and dancing. They listened quietly as their king began to speak.
"Move out of my way. I'm the biggest, I should be king," said Elephant.
The spear hit the ground on the count of four. Elephant was angry and started stomping. King Leopard told him, "You've had your chance."
And so Elephant had to leave.
Boar came charging through saying, "Get out of my way. Get out of my way. I'm going to be king. I've got the biggest muscles. I'm the strongest. I should be king."
The spear dropped on the count of six. He was so angry. He fumed and threw clouds of dirt into the air.
Leopard told him "Boar, you only throw once and you've had your chance." Boar had to leave.
Right about then, they heard another sound coming from the back of crowd. When the animals looked around, they couldn't believe their eyes.
Ape took the spear and he backed way up. He pulled his arm back, charged forward, leapt into the air and threw the spear into the sky.
"One! Two! Three! Four! Five! Six! Seven! Oh!" cried Ape.
Ape was upset. He was so angry that he started turning round, complaining and making all sorts of excuses.
But King Leopard told him "No, Ape, you only get one chance." And so the ape had to leave.
When the animals heard her words, they all started laughing.
She took a deep breath, released the spear and shouted, "Five and five is ten." The spear hit the ground.
The contest was not to find the biggest or the strongest animal. It was a contest to find the smartest animal! That is how Antelope became queen when leopard died.
Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0