Lessing’s THE SHEEP AND THE SWALLOW*

Posted by jlubans on March 16, 2022

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A SWALLOW alighted on the back of a Sheep, to pluck a little wool for her nest.
The Sheep, unwilling to lose any of his coat, tried to shake off the intruder.
"What makes you so unfriendly towards me?" asked the Swallow.
"You allow the Shepherd to shear you of your wool from head to foot; yet you grudge me the smallest bit of it.
Whatever is the reason?"
"The reason," replied the Sheep, "is that you lack the skill to take off my wool in the same easy manner that the Shepherd shears me."

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How one is fleeced matters. Ditto for the manner of being bilked, defrauded, diddled, fiddled, hustled, squeezed, and swindled.
If we feel unhappy being “done to” when flying economy, we feel much better in business class. The “done to” in shrink sized economy become “done for” in super-sized biz class.
When travelers are surveyed about flying guess who praises the experience? It ain’t economy class.
We are all subject to being shorned; how we feel about it and how we understand it comes down to how we are treated, how we are respected or not, how we are put on eternal hold (depicted) and/or forced to chat with robots.
Had the swallow asked before plucking, perhaps the sheep would have said, “My privilege” and kindly shared his wool.

*SOURCE: Lessing, Fables, Book III, No. 3. Translated by G. Moir Bussey.Excerpted From: Cooper, Frederic Taber, 1864-1937. “An argosy of fables; a representative selection from the fable literature of every age and land.” New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company. 1921.

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And, don’t forget Lubans' book on democratic workplaces, Leading from the Middle

© Copyright text by John Lubans 2022

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