Friday Fable. Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange’s “A DOG IN A MANGER”*

Posted by jlubans on November 20, 2015

Caption: "Chromolithograph" from a McLoughlin Brothers children's book, New York, 1880.

“A churlish envious Cur was gotten into a manger, and there lay growling and snarling to keep the Provender (food). The Dog eat none himself, and yet rather ventur’d the starving his own Carcase than he would suffer any Thing to be the better for’t. “

“THE MORAL. Envy pretends to no other Happiness than what it derives from the Misery of other People, and will rather eat nothing itself than not to starve those that would.”

You’ve arrived 20 minutes early at the building permit agency. All the required forms are complete and ready to hand in. The clerk looks over your file and asks, “Where’s Form 530?” You have no clue. “When I called, no one told me I needed Form 530.” “Sorry, you’ll have to make another appointment once you have it.” Arf, arf!

“Hmmmm,” goes the examiner, “You’ve filled out the application in blue ink. It has to be black ink. Sorry.” Grrrr, Grrrr!

The clerk is fastidiously studying your application. The last time you applied, the agency said you needed a bank authorized financial statement. It’s on the top of the file. She’s frowning and shaking her head, “No, this won’t do. The bank official has initialed her name by the bank’s stamp. It has to be a full signature. Sorry.” Woof, woof!

And so you can see how someone - with very little real power - can frustrate, like Aesop's classic barking dog, the most humbly compliant and well intended among us.

Leading from the Middle Library of the Week: Olympic College,
Haselwood Library
, Bremerton, WA, USA.

*Source: Aesop’s Fables translated by Sir Roger L'Estrange, 1692.

© Copyright John Lubans 2015
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