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

Posted by jlubans on January 11, 2013

“A dog was chasing a lion with all his might when the lion turned around and roared at him. The dog abandoned his pursuit, turned tail, and ran. A fox happened to see the dog and said, 'Why on earth would you chase after something when you cannot even stand the sound of its voice?' 
It is a foolish man who wants to rival his superiors. He is doomed to fail, and becomes a laughing-stock as well.”

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Caption: A photo from the book, Leading from the Middle, Chapter: 5: “Bridger and Me.”
My daughter Mara’s dog, Bridger, spent a year with us. She, Bridger, was probably a year old at the time. Since that year’s adventures – which are described in Chapter 5 - Bridger has matured and appears now to be a self-actualized dog, indeed an Apollonian canine.
Whenever she visits we go back to our daily routine. She reminds me when it is time for our early morning walk and when it is time for our afternoon walk. It’s not much of a reminder, just enough of a presence, a nudging look at me or the door. And we’re off.
In the early morning you’ll see us, rain or shine, on a nearby forest trail. In the afternoon, it’s a leisurely saunter around the block. One of the houses in the neighborhood has a couple small dogs and a cat or two. Usually I have Bridger off-leash because there is little foot traffic and because she is amazingly polite and well behaved, of course.
Not long ago, as we strolled past the house with the several pets, a high-strung barking erupted. Within seconds a tiny dog shot out of the driveway scrambling after Bridger. Bridger was un-impressed. Here was this 3 or 4-pounder, barking and snarling at a 50-pound black lab. “Bring it on” the little guy was shouting, “Bring it on!” Bridger, imperturbable, ambled on. Then – Napoleonically thinking she was in retreat - he snapped at Bridger. Bridger spun around, opening her jaws about a foot wide, showing all of her teeth back to the molars. And, her hackles stood up three inches, adding another 20 pounds to her presence. The little dog, stunned, eyes bulging, ceased and desisted back into the safety of his yard. I like to think Bridger was a little amused.
The epimythium for my story: if you must bark, then bark at dogs your own size or smaller. And, in the workplace, if you insist on making asinine comments don’t be surprised when a superior barks back, and then some.

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


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