Friday Fable, Aesop’s “THE SICK STAG”*

Posted by jlubans on June 01, 2017

Caption: Like a scene out of Moliere’s, “The Imaginary Invalid.”
Illustration by the French caricaturist J. J. Grandville (1803 – 1847).

“A Stag had fallen sick. He had just strength enough to gather some food and find a quiet clearing in the woods, where he lay down to wait until his strength should return. The Animals heard about the Stag's illness and came to ask after his health. Of course, they were all hungry, and helped themselves freely to the Stag's food; and as you would expect, the Stag soon starved to death.”

“Good will is worth nothing unless it is accompanied by good acts.”
The moral spikes it. Doing something beats mouthing platitudes (and your host’s larder).
There’s a darker aspect to this fable in its telling of the oblivious guests using up the stag’s resources (his stored “good will”?)
Are the moochers really that clueless or does a hidden malevolence impel – like in the illustration – depriving the stag?
And so it can be in the workplace. Consider the time when you find yourself on the outs with the boss – indeed there are hints you may soon be shown the door.
So, you consult your colleagues for support and advice.
What do you get? The cold shoulder.
Any stored good will has somehow dissipated.
Que lastima! A pity, they all say, but don’t expect any actions on your behalf.
Some say the stag’s wake was one of the liveliest ever.

*Source: Aesop for Children (translator not identified). Illustrations by Milo Winter (1886-1956). Chicago: 
Rand McNally & Company, 1919. Available at Project Gutenberg.

N.B. My next book, Fables for Leaders, Ezis Press, comes out in September 2017 as an e-book ($9.99) and a soft cover print-on-demand book, ($25.99). The print book, pictured, will feature original illustrations by the renowned Béatrice Coron.

Cover: "Fables for Leaders" PRE-PRINT, 203pp. 2017.

© Copyright John Lubans 2017

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