Aesop’s Dog and Wolf Fable As I See It

When you home school your children, you have the fun of re-learning all kinds of interesting things you learned as a child. I admit that, as a child, I never really thought Aesop’s Fables were all that interesting. Sometimes I thought the characters were downright dumb. Re-reading them with my granddaughter, I’m seeing a little wisdom here and there that I might have missed when I was younger.

The dog and wolf fable tells of a wolf who finds himself in the middle of a tough winter with little food and no shelter. One day a nicely fed and happy dog comes by to talk with him. The dog assures him he has plenty of food and warmth and plenty of work to do for his master. The wolf wants those things and so begins to go with the dog until he notices that the dog has a collar. When the dog explains that the collar is to tie him up at night, the wolf decides against going with the dog.

When I was a child, the moral of the story was always at the end but in today’s 1st grade worksheets, they leave that part out so we get to make our own moral. For me, the moral would be that too many of us want the good life but we aren’t willing to pay the price to get it. We want the nicer things in life but, in order to get them, we have to go to school to train to get the better paying jobs. Then we have to work the hours necessary in those jobs in order to afford the good life. In almost everything that is worthwhile in life, there is a catch. In order to have the stability and security of a good marriage, you have to give up the right to play the field. Of course, if you want to play the field, you give up the stability and security of a good marriage. In order to know the joy of having children, you must give up the personal freedom you had prior to their birth. You also give up a great deal of financial freedom. You can keep the personal freedom and the money but you lose the truly wonderful experience of being a parent.

You get my point. The old physics truth that for every force there is an equal and opposite force seems to apply here. The trick is in deciding what is important for you. The wolf wanted plenty of food and the warm bed at night but he wasn’t willing to give up that freedom to howl at the moon each night. For me, he lost a lot to gain a little. How about you? Are you losing a lot to gain a little? Should you be changing something in your life but you’re not willing to give up that little to get the potential gain? Something to think about.

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