Once Upon a Time: A Fable

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January 18, 2016 by phicks2012

portcullis-02Once upon a time a bear and a wolf traveled together to a village, and approached the gate asking to be let in. They said they had been traveling a very long time without finding a home, and the people of the village, being friendly folk, let them in and made them welcome, and at first all was well.

The bear was strong, and a good fighter, and could easily help to defend the village, and had a loud growl to intimidate its enemies. Also, he brought with him armor and weapons and the skill to make more, so the villagers believed themselves fortunate to have him among them.

The wolf was fierce, and eager, and a good fighter, and also had a talent for creating beautiful things. She made items of beauty and shared them, and had a resonating howl to announce her presence, and the artisans of the village thought themselves fortunate to have her there among them.

But the folk of the village were farmers and creators more than hunters, and the bear and the wolf soon came to hunger for fresh meat. They looked upon their hosts and began to see some of them, like the birds, and the antelope, and the deer, as prey, and told others, like the boar, and the cats, that they should not wish to be ruled over by animals who should rightfully serve to stock their larders. The future of the village, they said should be in the hands of the strong, and they took this as a mandate, setting themselves up to lead.

Once this was decided, the bear was quick to anger and trample his opposition when anything he proposed or declared to be true was questioned, and the wolf was quick to growl and snap and threaten when anything went counter to their will. They set out to break the ranks of those unwilling to be cowed, spreading rumors of treachery and disloyalty,and for a while this seemed to be effective. The folk of the village withdrew into the safety of their own houses, not knowing anymore who might be friend or foe, and the bear growled in his strength, and the wolf howled in her triumph.

Giddy in their success, they nevertheless grew impatient, and sent word to the King claiming that there was incompetence, division, and corruption in the village, and on the part of current leaders, and the King sent an agent to determine what needed to be done. When they saw this agent, the bear and the wolf were pleased, because he was also a bear, and a great warrior in his own right, and they believed that he would be their ally. So, they cornered the village elder in his presence, growling and snapping and allowing her no defense, and when this was done they went to others saying that the King’s agent was their confederate and would back them.

But, while he was a bear, the agent was a wise bear, and well-known to many in the region, and after speaking with others in the village his sympathies were not with the bear and the wolf. Those with whom he spoke all told him tales far different from those spun by the twosome, and the villagers, each in his or her own way, then stopped listening to the rumors being spread.

Upon discovering that the folk of the village were no longer listening to them, or believing their words, the bear and the wolf grew angry, and with snarls and snaps left to find a place more suitable to their ambitions.

Then the village elders came together, speaking softly and discovering that each had similar stories to share — tales of having been warned by the bear and the wolf of threats and plots and unfriendly words on the part of their neighbors. Yet the neighbors all shook their heads and denied having said the words attributed to them by the bear and the wolf, and they all quickly realized that they had, all of them, been lied to.

Though they had done nothing to harm or threaten the newcomers, but rather had welcomed them to make their home there, they realized that the natures of the bear and the wolf had not allowed them to be happy in a place where they could not command and rule as they saw fit. Thus, though saddened and angered by what had happened, the villagers rejoiced at their deliverance, and swore never again to allow such a thing to happen.

And the moral of this story is:

The truth does not often growl and howl. Usually it whispers.

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I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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