Friday Fable, L’Estrange’s “A WOLF AND A SHEEP”*

Posted by jlubans on September 25, 2015

Caption: One Savvy Sheep

“A Wolf that lay Licking of his Wounds, and extreamly Faint and Ill upon the Biting of a Dog, call’d out to a Sheep that was passing by. Hark ye Friend (says he) if thou wouldst but help me to a Soup of Water out of the same Brook there, I could make a Shift to get my self somewhat to Eat. Yes, said the Sheep, I make no Doubt on’t; but when I bring ye Drink, my Carcase shall serve ye for Meat to’t.”

“THE MORAL. It is a Charitable and Christian Office to relieve the Poor and the Distressed; but this Duty does not Extend to Sturdy Beggars, that while they are receiving Alms with One Hand, are ready to Beat out a Man’s Brains with the Other.”

Unlike most of Aesop’s sheep, this one stands out from the herd. Sheep are supposed to be compliant, easily fleeced, bamboozled, dependent and uncritical followers, like so many mindless Internet trolls and followers in the workplace. Ours is a savant sheep; she stands alone, pensive and august.
I can picture our sheep, turning away from Mr. Wolf, flicking her tail dismissively, and trotting back to the fold, and, much to the wolf’s vexation, letting lose a raspberry sounding “B-A-A-A” over her shoulder.
In the workplace, our sheep is a breakout follower. She gives herself permission to re-think what she does and why, to make decisions about how best to do something. Her objective is to help her team accomplish group goals. She’s a follower that emboldens others to strive beyond the sheepfold.

*Source: Abstemius' Fables translated by Sir Roger L'Estrange, 1692.

Leading from the Middle Library of the Week: Campbell County Public Library, Gillette, Wyoming, USA

Copyright © John Lubans 2015

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