“The Wise Old Bunny”: The Hares and the Frogs*

Posted by jlubans on February 23, 2018

Caption: Edward Eksergian Self-portrait, illustrator for Thummel’s “Aesop in Rhyme.”

The hares assembled in solemn convention,
Resolved it was their united intention
To die, life being naught but trembling and fear;
For waking or sleeping some danger was near.
‘And we prefer death. Now, what route shall we
With one voice they all cried: ‘Let’s drown in the
Neither old nor young would wait for the morrow,
But made haste to the lake to there end his sorrow.
By the side of the lake some innocent frogs,
Were hopping and jumping among some old logs.
These hearing the hares, and ‘most frightened to
Jumped into the lake, each holding his breath.
Then one old hare, who from age had grown wise,
Cried out: ‘Hold, brothers!’ much to their sur-
‘By this act of the frogs it seems clear to me,
There are more unfortunate creatures than we.’

Though your burdens are heavy and hard to bear,
Remember that others have also their share.
As absurd as the suicidal Soviet dissident, gun to temple, who when surrounded by the gun toting KGB, exclaims: “Don’t shoot!”
So, the wise old bunny sees an honorable way out of the suicide pact and saves the hares for another day of sweet life, sunrises and sunsets, however near danger.
In the workplace, it is often the contrarian view that jostles us out of our groupthink and brakes our slipping over the precipice.
Always encourage the workplace’s lovable fool or jester or contrarian; his or her patter may save us from a like-minded rush to disaster.

*Source: Aesop in Rhyme by Mary Leone Gilliam Thummel with illustrations by Edward Eksergian. St. Louis, MO? 1906.
A Note on Finding Ms. Thummel.
Suggestive of search engine flaws, is what we DO NOT know about Mary Thummel.
Google offers us no obituary, no notices from the local papers of St. Louis, no listings in author directories.
All we know is that she authored two books, the Aesop and another about government, a school textbook from 1897.
Turning away from the “World’s Information Desk” (Google), other sources might reveal much more about Ms. Thummel.
You’ll find those sources either blocked by pay-walls or only in print-on-paper format: local newspapers, street directories, tax records, state and national directories (like Who’s Who), local histories, birth and death notices, and records of literary societies, etc.
Libraries are the only places to find non-digital formats.
And, the better the librarian the more you will learn.
Forget the notion that all you need is on Google. It’s not.
Apropos of Ms. Thummel’s St Louis, the Fables for Leaders Library of the week is the St. Louis Public Library, Missouri, USA!
For more fables to guide one’s leadership or followership, get your copy of “Fables for Leaders” at Amazon. Or get your library to order a copy. Just tell the information desk person you want the book!

© Copyright John Lubans 2018

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