Friday Fable. Lubans’ The Pigeon and the Stone Lion

Posted by jlubans on May 07, 2015

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Caption. Photo by John Lubans, May 4, 2015, Vērmanes dārzs, Riga, Latvia.

Long ago, when animals could talk, a pigeon grew accustomed to roosting on the head of a stone lion, something he would never have dared when the lion lived and breathed. The pigeon enjoyed strutting and preening on the lion’s head for all to see, all the while mocking the now powerless “king of beasts”.
Back then, not only could animals talk, but statues had resident spirits. The stone lion had one named Nemesis. Nemesis grew disgusted with the disrespectful ways of the pigeon and appealed to Zeus: “I was strong and honorable in life, why should this bird mock me and defecate on my head?” Zeus agreed and turned the stone lion into warm flesh and fur. The pigeon’s next landing on the lion’s mane was his last; the lion tossed his mighty head and snapped up the pigeon in his jaws.

Moral: Disrespect is no virtue. If you honor and respect something in life, don’t begrime its memory.

In the workplace, I’ve seen pigeon-like besmirching of a former leader’s good work, something that the denigrators would never have done to his face. And, sometimes, a good leader finds herself powerless, trapped between an unsupportive upper administration and a change resistant staff. Then, like the pigeon and the stone lion, the belittlers jeer with impunity. The moral of this story suggests, “Do so at your own risk; divine retribution might be on the horizon!”

Leading from the Middle Library of the week: Howard University Library System, Washington DC

© John Lubans 2015

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