Friday Fable: Aesop’s “The Father and His Two Daughters”*

Posted by jlubans on December 12, 2014

Caption: A literal interpretation for a Turkish version of this fable.

“A MAN had two daughters, the one married to a gardener, and the other to a tile-maker. After a time he went to the daughter who had married the gardener, and inquired how she was and how all things went with her. She said, ‘All things are prospering with me, and I have only one wish, that there may be a heavy fall of rain, in order that the plants may be well watered.’ Not long after, he went to the daughter who had married the tile maker, and likewise inquired of her how she fared; she replied, ‘I want for nothing, and have only one wish, that the dry weather may continue, and the sun shine hot and bright, so that the bricks might be dried.’ He said to her, ‘If your sister wishes for rain, and you for dry weather, with which of the two am I to join my wishes?’

At one time I was active in a professional society. It alleged to be an egalitarian grouping but in truth had more levels and ranks than a Masonic temple. And, while some professed it mattered little, elected positions were jealously coveted. So, I found myself unintentionally caught in the middle much like the father in the fable. A professional friend told me he was running for office and asked for my vote. This was well before the slate was set, so I did not know his opponent. Regardless, since I liked him and thought he'd do a good job, I promised him my vote. Lo and behold, shortly before the election another friend asked me to vote for her! I decided honesty was the best policy and told her, as much as I admired her and would have readily voted for her, I could not do so since I had promised my vote to the opponent. She seemed to take it OK, but our correspondence ceased nor has it (now years later) resumed. She won the election, as I knew she would, but I apparently had failed her. A friend no more.

*Source: AESOP’S FABLES By Aesop Translated by George Fyler Townsend (probably from this edition): “Three hundred and fifty Aesop’s fables”. Chicago, Belford, Clarke & Co., 1886.
Available at the Gutenberg Project.

Copyright John Lubans 2014
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