Friday Fable. La Fontaine’s THE LION AND THE RAT*

Posted by jlubans on May 10, 2013

20130510-Lion rat pic.jpg
"To show to all your kindness, it beho(o)ves:
There's none so small but you his aid may need.
I quote two fables for this weighty creed,
Which either of them fully proves.
From underneath the sward
A rat, quite off his guard,
Popp'd out between a lion's paws.
The beast of royal bearing
Show'd what a lion was
The creature's life by sparing--
A kindness well repaid;
For, little as you would have thought
His majesty would ever need his aid,
It proved full soon
A precious boon.
Forth issuing from his forest glen,
T' explore the haunts of men,
In lion net his majesty was caught,
From which his strength and rage
Served not to disengage.
The rat ran up, with grateful glee,
Gnaw'd off a rope, and set him free.

By time and toil we sever
What strength and rage could never."

A variation on La Fontaine's Dove and the Ant; same message, good deeds are not always punished, often rewarded. Keep in mind the lion’s munificence when someone at work or home would benefit from a helping hand. I’ve found an egalitarian spirit, like that practiced at Southwest Airlines, (see Chapter 10: ” It’s in the DNA: Infusing Organizational Values at Southwest” along with SWAs core value of the Golden Rule can lead to productive ideas and unstinting effort from all, not just those designated in charge.

*Source: THE FABLES OF LA FONTAINE Translated From The French by Elizur Wright. [original place and date: Boston, U.S.A., 1841.] A New
, with Notes by J. W. M. Gibbs,1882.

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