Friday Fable. Aesop’s “THE TUNNY-FISH AND THE DOLPHIN”*

Posted by jlubans on October 24, 2014

20141024-dolphin2_.jpg
Caption: An etching from the year 1749, after the Francis Barlow original.

“A Tunny-fish was chased by a Dolphin and splashed through the water at a great rate, but the Dolphin gradually gained upon him, and was just about to seize him when the force of his flight carried the Tunny on to a sandbank. In the heat of the chase the Dolphin followed him, and there they both lay out of the water, gasping for dear life.
When the Tunny saw that his enemy was doomed like himself, he said, ‘I don't mind having to die now: for I see that he who is the cause of my death is about to share the same fate.’"

Pretty grim stuff. Another translator (Laura Gibbs) has it: “The fable shows that people readily undergo a disaster when they can witness the destruction of those who are to blame.”
There may be something to that, but I think I’d rather have a kindly shore fisherman gaff the dolphin and toss me back into the sea.
Here’s another moralist’s take, more to my way of thinking:
“‘Tis a wretched satisfaction, that a revengeful man takes, even in the losing of his own life, provided that his enemy may go for company.” Wretched’s the word.
I suppose this is schadenfreude taken to the extreme. the all-too human cheap thrill when hearing of other people’s suffering, especially of those whom we do not particularly like. A colleague of mine serves as a model for me when some former business antagonist slips on the banana peel on the walkway of life: Express condolences and nothing more.

*Source: AESOP'S FABLES A NEW TRANSLATION BY V. S. VERNON JONES WITH AN INTRODUCTION By G. K. CHESTERTON AND ILLUSTRATIONS BY ARTHUR RACKHAM (Publisher: London: W. Heinemann; New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1912). Available at Gutenberg.

What the heck, why not?
Redux a time to crow: My Fulbright Specialist Program grant award is official. Quoting from the October 16, 2014 Fulbright press release:
“John Lubans, Jr., an Independent Scholar, (was) selected for a Fulbright Specialists project in Riga, Latvia, at the University of Latvia, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Information and Library Studies during 2014, according to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Lubans just completed his award grant, a 6 week class: “Democracy in the Workplace: Self-Managing Teams & Managing Self.”
Lubans is one of over 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Specialists Program. The Fulbright Specialists Program, created in 2000 to complement the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program provides short-term academic opportunities (two to six weeks) to prominent U.S. faculty and professionals to support curricular and faculty development and institutional planning at post secondary, academic institutions around the world.” Cock-a-doodle-do!

@Copyright John Lubans 2014

« Prev itemNext item »

Comments

No comments yet. You can be the first!

Leave comment