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Monday, September 07, 2015

Reader's Diary #1190- Aesop (translated by George Flyer Townshend): The Fox and the Goat


I discovered a new short story site: Poop Fiction. It's a site of free short stories gleaned from Project Gutenberg but conveniently sorted by length of time it would likely take a person to read them so that they can pick one to read while they go to the bathroom. Funny. Except that who can predict how long that will take? And except that the result of the sorting leaves a little too be desired. It's not that I think they're wrong in their estimations, but I read "The Fox and the Goat" a couple of days back on my phone (not while on the can, in case you're curious) and when I went to find it again today, found it impossible. You pick the length of time you want and then it selects a random story that fits that description. There is not, however, a way to search by author or story title.

Not of which is a big deal, really. Project Gutenberg stories are readily available online and so I just searched for it again, finding it here. Interestingly, however, I believe that the good people at Poop Fiction provided a different moral to this tale. (For the life of me, I cannot remember what exactly their moral was but I'm sure it wasn't "look before you leap" as was the case at the new link given above).

For those unfamiliar with this particular tale, it involves a fox who's fallen into a well and cannot get out. A goat wanders by and a fox convinces him that the water is great, the goat climbs in and is now also trapped. The fox convinces the goat to let him climb aboard to leap out, promising to help the goat out afterwards. However, once the fox gets out, he mocks the goat and runs off.

What a cynical little story! How can the fox mock the goat for getting into the well (i.e., not looking before he leaped) when the fox himself fell down there first? Why didn't the fox just ask the goat for help in the first place rather than trick him into getting into the well? Why did he just run off? The real moral here seems to be to beware of sociopaths.

Red fox by hehaden, on Flickr

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License
   by  hehaden 

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