Friday Fable. Aesop’s “THE COOK AND THE DOG.”* 

Posted by jlubans on November 02, 2012

“Someone was hosting a splendid feast in the city after having performed a sacrifice. A dog belonging to the host ran into another man's dog who was a friend of his and invited him to come to the feast. The other dog came but the cook grabbed him by the leg and threw him out over the wall and into the street. When some other dogs asked him how the party had gone, the dog answered, 'Couldn't have been better! I can't even quite tell how I made my exit.'”
Caption: Who invited you?
I think that’s called landing on your feet! I wish I had that dog’s talent for repartee when in an embarrassing spot. This bit of Aesopic humor reminds me of an incident at my Fulbright orientation in Washington, DC. I was there with several hundred other awardees, including many graduate students, being prepped for our five-month assignments in far-flung destinations. At the end of the second day, I was in the hotel elevator, going down to the lobby to meet friends for dinner. The only other passenger, middle-aged in coat and tie, noticed my Fulbright nametag and expressed some astonishment. “I thought only young people with zip and energy were sent on Fulbrights!” I was bemused (and brain-weary from the full day orientation) and simply smiled. Aesop’s canine might have had a different response.
A couple years later, when I told this elevator story to one of my hiking buddies, my friend had an immediate come back: “The Fulbright likes to send in seasoned people who can readily recognize a—holes!”
*Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
PS. If you are in Eugene, Oregon there’s a copy of Leading from the Middle (all about freedom at work) waiting for you.

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