Friday Fable. La Fontaine’s “THE FOX AND THE BUST”*

Posted by jlubans on May 03, 2013

20130503-Fox and bust.jpg
Caption. The Fox Un-Impressed

“The great are like the maskers of the stage;
Their show deceives the simple of the age.
For all that they appear to be they pass,
With only those whose type's the ass.
The fox, more wary, looks beneath the skin,
And looks on every side, and, when he sees
That all their glory is a semblance thin,
He turns, and saves the hinges of his knees,
With such a speech as once, 'tis said,
He utter'd to a hero's head.
A bust, somewhat colossal in its size,
Attracted crowds of wondering eyes.
The fox admired the sculptor's pains:
'Fine head,' said he, 'but void of brains!'
The same remark to many a lord applies.”

And, I might add, “applies” to many an inhabitant of the executive suite. But, let us refrain from vilification, some are only trying to do what’s right and good while others believe what their Yes Men** tell them. Clothes make the man and there’s something similar to be said for a sculpted piece or oil painting of one as he or she wishes and not as is.
I do like a Brooks Brothers suit and what it can do. But, when in NYC, I shamble about in jeans, sneakers and sweater – it’s too much effort to bring along a suit and shoes, shirt and tie. In Riga, at Migration Control seeking a visa extension, I wore my “power coat”, a beautifully tailored black overcoat, but swayed the system not. It (Migration not the coat) said, “You must Apostille this and that or otherwise….”

*Source: THE FABLES OF LA FONTAINE Translated From The French by Elizur Wright. [Original place and date: Boston, U.S.A., 1841.] A New Edition, with Notes by J. W. M. Gibbs, 1882.
And, Illustration and full text at the charming, - as only the French can be - website of the MUSEE JEAN DE LA FONTAINE with birds atwitter, barking dogs and other countryside music.

**One of several follower types as discussed in my book, Chapter 2: Leading from the Middle: "I’m the Boss."

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