I was reading Aesop’s Fables with my kids the past couple weeks. Many of them are really profound when you stop to think about them and their morals. For instance, we read the one I’m copying below. It reminded me of what we have been facing as a nation since 9/11/2001 and what we still face economically.
The moon was shining very bright one night when lean, half-starved wolf, whose ribs were almost sticking through his skin, chanced to meet a plump, well-fed house dog. After the first compliments had been passed between them, the wolf inquired:
“How is it, cousin dog, that you look so sleek and contented? Try as I may, I can barely find enough food to keep me from starvation.”
“Alas, cousin wolf,” said the house dog, “you lead too irregular a life. Why do you not work steadily as I do?”
“I would gladly work steadily if I could only get a place,” said the wolf.
“That’s easy,” replied the dog. “Come with me to my master’s house and help me keep the thieves away at night.”
“Gladly,” said the wolf, “for as I am living in the woods I have having a sorry time of it. There is nothing like having a roof over one’s head and a bellyful of victuals always at hand.”
“Follow me,” said the dog.
While they were trotting along together the wolf spied a mark on the dog’s neck. Out of curiosity he could not forbear asking what had caused it.
“Oh, that’s nothing much,” replied the dog. “Perhaps my collar was a little tight, the collar to which my chain is fastened – ”
“Chain!” cried the wolf in surprise. “You don’t mean to tell me that you are not free to rove where you please?”
“Why, not exactly,” said the dog, somewhat shamefacedly. “You see, my master thinks I am a bit fierce, and ties me up in the daytime. But he lets me run free at night. It really is very convenient for everybody. I get plenty of sleep during the day so that I can watch better at night. I really am a great favorite in the house. The master feeds me off his own plate, and the servants are continually offering me handouts from the kitchen. But wait, where are you going?”
As the wolf started back toward the forest he said: “Good night to you, my poor friend, you are welcome to your dainties – and your chains. As for me, I prefer my freedom to your fat.”
The moral of the story is “Lean freedom is better than fat slavery.“