Friday Fable. Aesop’s “The Wolf And The Lamb”*

Posted by jlubans on June 22, 2017

Caption: Illustrations by Richard Heighway, 1894

“WOLF, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the Lamb the Wolf’s right to eat him.
He thus addressed him: ‘Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me.’ ‘Indeed,’ bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, ‘I was not then born.’
Then said the Wolf, ‘You feed in my pasture.’ ‘No, good sir,’ replied the Lamb, ‘I have not yet tasted grass.’
Again said the Wolf, ‘You drink of my well.’ ‘No,’ exclaimed the Lamb, ‘I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother’s milk is both food and drink to me.’
Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying, ‘Well! I won’t remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations.’”

“The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.”
Or as another moralist has it more aptly for humans, “If you have made up your mind to hang your dog, any rope will do for the purpose.”
When you have “strayed from the flock”, as any good independent thinking follower will do from time to time, the fuss budget boss will see a justification to foreclose on your career.
It is not for nothing the research shows that really good workers – creative, pro-active, independent-minded – are punished about half of the time.
So, stray not from your flock?
No, stray away but be aware that your independence (and good ideas and good performance) will bring envy as often as praise. Be prepared to leave; have a packed suitcase under the bed.
Alas, our little lamb had no recourse.
In the workplace we often get second chances elsewhere; don’t forgo them.

*Source: FABLES By Aesop Translated by George Fyler Townsend (probably from this edition): “Three hundred and fifty Aesop’s fables”. Chicago, Belford, Clarke & Co., 1886.
Available at the Gutenberg Project.

© Copyright John Lubans 2017

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