Friday Fable: “THE DOG AND THE REEDS*”

Posted by jlubans on August 24, 2012

Against evil associates and the like. 
There was a dog who wanted to do his business right on top of a clump of bulrushes but one of the reeds poked the dog's behind. The dog backed off and began to bark at the reeds. The reed said, 'I would rather have you bark at me from a distance than have you dirty me up close!'”

20120824-barking dog.jpeg
Caption: A chihuaha’s yapping end is preferable to his other end.

What to do when someone dumps on you? When disparaged, does one exhibit umbrage (whatever that is) or sit in dignified silence. I suppose it depends; as the fable declares, even the reed has a limit.
There are some circumstances (like the reed’s) that justify jabbing back, getting some distance. The difficulty is in knowing how to respond, when to roar and when to purr. A respected friend advised me, early in my career, it was best not to respond to the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”. A true gentleman, he firmly believed and practiced that reacting to a slur or slander only would lend dignity to the pejorative comment. Ignore it and it will go away. For me, turning the other cheek worked most of the time but not always.
It’s probably best to respond to the perceived insult with something comical; humor is better than the risk of looking foolish through angry over-reaction or appearing a milquetoast. So, ramp up your repartee. However, “Yo Momma” does not qualify as a snappy comeback!

*Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.

« Prev itemNext item »


No comments yet. You can be the first!

Leave comment