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The Dog and the Shadow

“A dog had a piece of meat that he was carrying to his home in his mouth to eat it. There was a river that he saw on his way home with a plank laying across it. He had to cross this plan in order to reach the other side. As the dog was crossing, he saw his own shadow reflected in the water beneath him. The dog thought his own shadow was another dog holding another piece of meat. He wanted this piece of meat too, and decided to have it to eat along with his. So he snapped at the shadow in the water, which caused him to open his mouth and drop the piece of meat in it into the water. It fell inside and traveled away and was never seen again.”

My informant told me that a neighbor had passed on this story to him. His neighbor had a book containing Aeseop’s fables, and read this one in particular to him. Although this particular fable could be interpreted in many different ways, for him it always reminded him to be humble and to count his blessings. It meant to enjoy what he already has rather than trying to reach unattainable things. Of course striving for success is still good, but to be grounded in what he has, such as his family and friends and religion. The fables were straightforward but gave him a lot to consider, and were a great morale compass in his childhood.

I had never heard of these fables before, and found it to be very interesting and informative. It also reminds me to be content with what I have and not foolishly grasp for what is not real. In this world where success and promotions are so highly sought after, reminders like these are necessary, to be content with what you have. Or else, even if you achieve that next level, you will still not experience satisfaction.

 

James, Thomas. Aesop’s Fables: A New Version, Chiefly from Original Sources. London: J. Murray, 1848. Print.

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