Friday Fable. Aesop’s “The Monkeys and Their Mother”*

Posted by jlubans on December 18, 2015


“THE MONKEY, it is said, has two young ones at each birth. The Mother fondles one and nurtures it with the greatest affection and care, but hates and neglects the other. It happened once that the young one which was caressed and loved was smothered by the too great affection of the Mother, while the despised one was nurtured and reared in spite of the neglect to which it was exposed.”

"The best intentions will not always ensure success."

Reading this fable, Johnny Cash’s “Boy Named Sue” came to mind. As only Mr. Cash could sing it – premiered, no less, at San Quentin prison - it tells the tale of what it's like to be named Sue:
“I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named ‘Sue.’”
Confronted at long last, Sue’s no-good father congratulates himself:
“For the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye
Cause I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you ‘Sue.'"
Maybe that’s what Momma Monkey was trying to do, like Sue’s dad, dish out some “tough love.” Maybe.

*Source: FABLES By Aesop Translated by George Fyler Townsend (probably from this edition): “Three hundred and fifty Aesop’s fables”. Chicago, Belford, Clarke & Co., 1886.
Available at the Gutenberg Project.

Christmas Present: The Suggestion Answer Book (1982-2000) Archived.
Tracy Jackson, Technical Services Archivist for the Duke University Archives offers up a fondly written appreciation of “The Archives of the Library Answer Person.
As I noted in an accompanying note to this donation of several thousand loose-leaf pages of suggestions and answers, “the SA Book was a highly approachable and personable source of humor, an enjoyable and informative discussion, with some great ideas and complaints from students, all conducted in an open forum. For the most part the SA Book was a way for students to express themselves about the library (and the campus) and to seek to influence and improve library policies and practices.”

© John Lubans 2015

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