Posted by jlubans on October 25, 2019

Caption: Illustration by Oliver Herford 1921

A lazy dog that sleeping lay
Outside the farmyard gate, one day,
Woke with a sudden start, to see
A fierce Wolf glaring hungrily,
Gruesome and grisly, gaunt and grim,
And just about to spring on him.
"O Wolf!" exclaimed the frightened Pup,
"One word before you eat me up!
Observe how very small and thin
I am; 'twould really be a sin
To eat me now. indeed I'm quite
Unworthy of your appetite.
Tomorrow Master gives a treat,
And I shall have so much to eat
That if you'll wait a day or two
I'll make a bigger meal for you!"
The Wolf agreed and went away;
But when on the appointed day
He came again to claim his right,
He found the farmyard gate shut tight,
And Doggie on the other side.
"What does this mean? Come out!" he cried.
Loud laughed the Dog, "It means," said he,
"I'm wiser than I used to be."
Poor Wolf, allegedly “gruesome and grisly, gaunt and grim”, he forgoes the ready made meal in hopes of something juicier and fatter a day or two away.
While I believe Herford's sleek and well nourished wolf depicted above, might take a raincheck, I doubt this other leaner and meaner wolf
Caption: Illustration by R., Caldecott and J. D. Cooper (so that’s what happened – he changed his name from D. B. and went back in time☺) 1883.
would for a moment consider the Doggie’s proposal; he’d gobble up on the spot the four legged Happy Meal!
And what might this fable offer us for the workplace? Possibly it serves to point out how organizations respond to situations. In halcyon times the organization – sleek and fat – is slow to anticipate what may be around the corner, while in dyspeptic times, the organization may over react and miss out on the “bigger meal” coming up.

The Herford Aesop, written and illustrated by Oliver Herford. 1921.

© Copyright John Lubans 2019

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