Aesop’s THE FIGHTING-COCKS AND THE EAGLE*

Posted by jlubans on July 23, 2019

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Caption: Illustration by de Grandville, 1870.

Two young Cocks were fighting as fiercely as if they had been men.
At last the one that was beaten crept into a corner of the hen-house, covered with wounds.
But the conqueror, straightway flying up to the top of the house, began clapping his wings and crowing, to announce his victory.
At this moment an Eagle, sailing by, seized him in his talons and bore him away; while the defeated rival came out from his hiding-place, and took possession of the dunghill for which they had contended.
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This fable is reminiscent of my Two Roosters in which a tyrannical boss is deposed violently by a younger, more physical, not-so-bad boss.
Here Aesop illustrates the folly of claiming victory before it is certain.
In any case, it’s all a dunghill, mates, Aesop is saying, so lest you think owning a pile of s--t is a successful life, you might reconsider.
And so it can be at work.
We may prematurely celebrate the demise of a rival. That rival might, down the road, become our boss!
With too few soaring eagles in any enterprise, it’s unlikely any eagle will bear us away, more likely a rat in the dunghill will cause its collapse.

*Source: Aesop's Fables: A new version, chiefly from original sources, by the Rev. Thomas James, with more than one hundred illustrations designed by John Tenniel. 1848.

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© Copyright John Lubans 2019

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