Kookaburra: 2nd anniversary of blog

Posted by jlubans on March 29, 2012

I started this blog two years ago in March 2010, ahead of the June 2010 publication of my book, Leading from the Middle. In the event current readers missed this first entry, "Envy and Other Deadly Workplace Sins," I offer it again. The film clip at the end of the piece is worth the effort of reading my fable:
Kookaburra and Crow - A Fable
20120329-images.jpeg A long time ago Kookaburra and Crow were friends. They lived in a land of perpetual night with little to eat. At Kookaburra’s inspiration, they invited Sun to their dark and desolate land. Under Sun’s warm rays, the land soon flourished. Crow and Kookaburra and the other animals learned new ways to grow and harvest food with plenty left over. No one was hungry and all were grateful to Kookaburra and Crow.

But Crow, a master of detail and cultivation, soon grew jealous of Kookaburra’s greeting Sun each morning with his raucous laugh and basking in the glory of the dawn. One day while Kookaburra was away, Crow persuaded the animals to shun Kookaburra, saying that Kookaburra played all day and did nothing but laugh at Sun; anyone could bring the sunshine to their land. The animals turned against Kookaburra.

Soon the land became dark and joyless – Sun no longer dawned, try as Crow would to Caw! Caw! a morning greeting. The animals began to fight among themselves. The few remaining crops dwindled in the pale light of the stars. Crow had secretly stored food, but would only share it with those who called him King.

Sun saw through Crow’s treachery and followed Kookaburra to a new land, the land down under, where Kookaburra greets her every morning with hilarious and joyful laughter. In Crow’s land, only a few animals remember the days of sunshine and plenty for all – it was like a dream, or so it seemed.

And we know why Sun never rises to Crow’s, Caw! Caw!(1)

Like Aesop’s fables of old, my introductory story has a moral, one that applies to the real world. It touches on how petty behavior, like Crow’s jealousy, can lead us to lose something we value. To our chagrin, we can slip backwards away from the progress we have made. Crow’s jealousy (and treachery) turns a sunshine filled world back into a dismal place.

My fable comes from my experience in the library workplace. I have seen libraries give up solid and positive gains because of conflict among leaders; or, if we did not surrender our gains, I have seen libraries grow idle after achieving a plateau and incrementally slip back into the old ways.
1. My fable is inspired by the many Australian tribal stories. One enjoyable-to-read collection is Aboriginal Myths, Legends and Fables, by A. W. Reed. Sydney: Reed New Holland, 1999.

Listen to Kookaburra greet the sun:

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