Friday Fable: “THE WOLF, THE DOG AND THE COLLAR”*
“For lyberte is better….”
“A comfortably plump dog happened to run into a wolf. The wolf asked the dog where he had been finding enough food to get so big and fat. 'It is a man,' said the dog, 'who gives me all this food to eat.' The wolf then asked him, 'And what about that bare spot there on your neck?' The dog replied, 'My skin has been rubbed bare by the iron collar which my master forged and placed upon my neck.' The wolf then jeered at the dog and said, 'Keep your luxury to yourself then! I don't want anything to do with it, if my neck will have to chafe against a chain of iron!'”
Caption: Wm. Caxton (1422 – 1492) England’s first printer
Our translator, Laura Gibbs, adds Caxton’s epimythium for this fable: “Therfore there is no rychesse gretter than lyberte / For lyberte is better than alle the gold of the world.”
Reminds me of when I stayed in a job that was no longer a match for my democratic style and skills. While I had had a very good first five years (in NASCAR terms, a “great ride”) in developing teams that did outstanding work, the next five were fairly dismal, each passing year like a tight collar around my neck, chafing. I should have been out the door during the 6th year, but figured, delusionally, it would all work out. It didn’t and became progressively worse as new administrators came on board. The newbies were top down traditionalistas; I began to feel like was I was "behind enemy lines". Why did I put up with a bad boss, unsupportive colleagues, and a now-boring job? All the obvious reasons mostly summed up in the word, security. The wolf would have none of it. Save the wolves!
*Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.