Malicious Mouser*

Posted by jlubans on February 16, 2018

Caption: Getting an earful. Illustration by Edward Eksergian, 1906.

“In the top of a tree was an old eagle's nest,
Where she and her young with contentment were blest.
A sow and her family took up their abode
In the hollow trunk, just close on the road,
While a wild cat reposed in a hole in the middle,
And all went as happy and gay as a fiddle,
Till the cat, with her evil and treacherous mind,
Which to trouble and mischief was always inclined,
Crept up to the eagle and said, ‘Woe is me!
The old sow I am sure is uprooting the tree!
She will root all around till down it will fall,
And then she'll devour us, young ones, and all!’
The eagle, affrighted, would not leave her brood,
Lest they all perish while she went for food.
This done, the old cat went down to the sow,
Saying, ‘Friend, I'll tell yon, you'll have trouble now,
The old eagle is watching till you go away,
To get one of your piggies for dinner today.’
The sow was now frightened as much as the eagle,
And nothing could her from the hollow inveigle,
So both of these families were starved in the tree,
And the wild cat and her young ones feasted in glee.
The friend who drops in to slander a neighbor
Is more to be shunned than a foe with a saber.”

And there you have it, how to sow dissent in an organization.
The Malicious Mouser, seen at tree’s base, undermines trust and brings ruin with her slander.
How often have I fallen for this ploy? How about you?
The antidote has always been for direct communication between the aggrieved; go direct to the alleged wrong doer. You’ll discover no wretched plot or plan, other than that cooked up by the go-between.
The go-between – inclined for “trouble and mischief” - always has his or her own agenda, as they say, and I can assure you it is never for your benefit.
Is not that the point of all gossip, to turn one against the other, to pretend a moral superiority to others?
Samantha Hines review of Fables suggests that the book could be a way to broach and air workplace problems.
Thummel’s clever verse just might get people talking about trust and how to keep it strong and sturdy.

*Source: Aesop in Rhyme by Mary Leone Gilliam Thummel with illustrations by Edward Eksergian. St. Louis, MO? 1906.

Fables for Leaders Library of the Week: University of Arkansas University Library, Fayetteville, AR, USA

Get your copy of Fables for Leaders at Amazon.

© Copyright John Lubans 2018

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