Friday Fable. Phaedrus’ “THE FLEA AND THE CAMEL

Posted by jlubans on September 02, 2017

Caption: Nonchalant camel having none of it.

“AS a Camel plodded on through the desert, weighted down with many burdens, a Flea perched contentedly on his back, greatly enjoying her exalted position. After they had journeyed a long distance and towards sunset reached the halting-place, the Flea at once skipped nimbly to the ground.
‘Did you see,’ she asked, ‘how quickly I got down, so as not to tire your poor back a moment longer?’
‘Thank you,’ replied the Camel, ‘but to tell the truth, I did not feel your weight while you were on my back, nor do I notice the difference, now that you are down!’”

Like Sir Roger L'Estrange’s idiomaticA Fly upon a Wheel”,
here’s someone with an elevated ego equating herself to the hard working camel.
In the workplace, when something goes well, there’s bound to be a few who contributed little but are happy to be part of the victory photo. This taking of undeserved credit is not limited to peers, it can be the boss who puts up barriers to a group’s work and then – when it succeeds – claims it was his idea all along!
On outdoor expeditions I've been on, the flea is the guy who disappears when it is time to put up the cooking tent and re-appears just when dinner is served.

*Source: Cooper, Frederic Taber, editor (1864-1937), “An argosy of fables; a representative selection from the fable literature of every age and land”. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company. 1921.

N.B. My next book,
Fables for Leaders, Ezis Press, debuts at end of September 2017, ($26.99) with original illustrations by Béatrice Coron.
ISBN: 978-0-692-90955-3
LCCN: 2017908783

© Copyright John Lubans 2017

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