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FW: The Parable of the Sheep

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  • ftully
    A good one for the hard drive. Keep this in circulation. http://www.kc3.com/sheep.htm The Parable of the Sheep By Charles Riggs Not so long ago and in a
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 15, 2003
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      A good one for the hard drive. Keep this in circulation.

      The Parable of the Sheep
      By Charles Riggs

      Not so long ago and in a pasture too uncomfortably close to
      here, a flock of sheep lived and grazed. They were protected by
      a dog, who answered to the master, but despite his best efforts
      from time to time a nearby pack of wolves would prey upon the

      One day a group of sheep, bolder than the rest, met to discuss
      their dilemma. "Our dog is good, and vigilant, but he is one and
      the wolves are many. The wolves he catches are not always
      killed, and the master judges and releases many to prey again
      upon us, for no reason we can understand. What can we do? We are
      sheep, but we do not wish to be food, too!"

      One sheep spoke up, saying "It is his teeth and claws that make
      the wolf so terrible to us. It is his nature to prey, and he
      would find any way to do it, but it is the tools he wields that
      make it possible. If we had such teeth, we could fight back, and
      stop this savagery." The other sheep clamored in agreement, and
      they went together to the old bones of the dead wolves heaped in
      the corner of the pasture, and gathered fang and claw and made
      them into weapons.

      That night, when the wolves came, the newly armed sheep sprang
      up with their weapons and struck at them, crying, "Begone! We
      are not food!" and drove off the wolves, who were astonished.
      When did sheep become so bold and so dangerous to wolves? When
      did sheep grow teeth? It was unthinkable!

      The next day, flush with victory and waving their weapons, they
      approached the flock to pronounce their discovery. But as they
      drew nigh, the flock huddled together and cried out,
      "Baaaaaaaadddd! Baaaaaddd things! You have bad things! We are
      afraid! You are not sheep!"

      The brave sheep stopped, amazed. "But we are your brethren!"
      they cried. "We are still sheep, but we do not wish to be food.
      See, our new teeth and claws protect us and have saved us from
      slaughter. They do not make us into wolves, they make us equal
      to the wolves, and safe from their viciousness!"

      "Baaaaaaad!" cried the flock, "the things are bad and will
      pervert you, and we fear them. You cannot bring them into the
      flock!" So the armed sheep resolved to conceal their weapons,
      for although they had no desire to panic the flock, they wished
      to remain in the fold. But they would not return to those nights
      of terror, waiting for the wolves to come.

      In time, the wolves attacked less often and sought easier prey,
      for they had no stomach for fighting sheep who possessed tooth
      and claw even as they did. Not knowing which sheep had fangs and
      which did not, they came to leave sheep out of their diet almost
      completely except for the occasional raid, from which more than
      one wolf did not return.

      Then came the day when, as the flock grazed beside the stream,
      one sheep's weapon slipped from the folds of her fleece, and the
      flock cried out in terror again, "Baaaaaad! You still possess
      these evil things! We must ban you from our presence!"

      And so they did. The great chief sheep and his council,
      encouraged by the words of their advisors, placed signs and
      totems at the edges of the pasture forbidding the presence of
      hidden weapons there. The armed sheep protested before the
      council, saying, "It is our pasture, too, and we have never
      harmed you! When can you say we have caused you hurt? It is the
      wolves, not we, who prey upon you. We are still sheep, but we
      are not food!" But the flock drowned them out with cries of
      "Baaaaaaddd! We will not hear your clever words! You and your
      things are evil and will harm us!"

      Saddened by this rejection, the armed sheep moved off and spent
      their days on the edges of the flock, trying from time to time
      to speak with their brethren to convince them of the wisdom of
      having such teeth, but meeting with little success. They found
      it hard to talk to those who, upon hearing their words, would
      roll back their eyes and flee, crying "Baaaaddd! Bad things!"

      That night, the wolves happened upon the sheep's totems and
      signs, and said, "Truly, these sheep are fools! They have told
      us they have no teeth! Brothers, let us feed!" And they set upon
      the flock, and horrible was the carnage in the midst of the
      fold. The dog fought like a demon, and often seemed to be in two
      places at once, but even he could not halt the slaughter.

      It was only when the other sheep arrived with their weapons that
      the wolves fled, only to remain on the edge of the pasture and
      wait for the next time they could prey, for if the sheep were so
      foolish once, they would be so again. This they did, and do

      In the morning, the armed sheep spoke to the flock, and said,
      "See? If the wolves know you have no teeth, they will fall upon
      you. Why be prey? To be a sheep does not mean to be food for
      wolves!" But the flock cried out, more feebly for their voices
      were fewer, though with no less terror, "Baaaaaaaad! These
      things are bad! If they were banished, the wolves would not harm
      us! Baaaaaaad!"

      So they resolved to retain their weapons, but to conceal them
      from the flock; to endure their fear and loathing, and even to
      protect their brethren if the need arose, until the day the
      flock learned to understand that as long as there were wolves in
      the night, sheep would need teeth to repel them.

      They would still be sheep, but they would not be food!

      "While it may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion , it's
      better yet to be a live lion." - Robert A Heinlein
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