Friday Fable. Aesop’s “THE FAWN AND HIS MOTHER”*

Posted by jlubans on May 14, 2015

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Caption: Semantic Sausage

“A Hind said to her Fawn, who was now well grown and strong, ‘My son, Nature has given you a powerful body and a stout pair of horns, and I can't think why you are such a coward as to run away from the hounds.’ Just then they both heard the sound of a pack in full cry, but at a considerable distance. ‘You stay where you are,’ said the Hind; ‘never mind me’: and with that she ran off as fast as her legs could carry her.”

One moralist has it that “No arguments will give courage to the coward.” Now that’s a bit harsh. The deer has the statistical wisdom not to take on a pack of hounds. The odds are stacked. Still, the fable exemplifies the adage: “Do as I say, not as I do.”
We are all prone to sanctimony, stating norms of behavior and then making exceptions for ourselves. So try to avoid absolutes but also avoid weasel talk. When I am obligated to read strategic plans - I normally run screaming the other way - I am struck by the language; the empty clichés, like so many helium hot dogs, pretending a robustness neither meant, understood or intended.

*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.


© John Lubans 2015
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