Tuesday, August 23, 2022



The fable:

One day a stray dog had been lingering outside a butcher’s shop, who gave him a bone as way of getting him to go away. Happy with his gain, the dog trotted off home so that he could eat his meal.

On his way back, he was crossing a bridge over a stream, when he looked over the edge at his reflection. In the water he saw a dog, holding a bone, staring back at him. Of course, that was his own reflection, but he did not think it through. He thought it was another dog, and growing greedy, he dropped his bone and jumped into the water. But soon he began to struggle to stay afloat, and almost drowned trying to reach the bridge.

Getting out of the water, the dog realised how foolish and greedy he had been.

In trying to get two bones, he had lost the one that he had.


The moral:

Various morals have been attributed to the fable:
  • It is foolish to be greedy.
  • Be content with what you have.
  • "Who all coveteth, oft he loseth all."
  • Do not be taken in by appearances.
  • Do not sacrifice the substance for the shadow.
  • It has also been suggested that the proverb “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" could be equally applied to the dog's poor judgment.

Some comments:

The story became widely disseminated after Aesop.

A variation exists where the word “shadow” is used instead of “reflection”.

I have personally used the story to illustrate to clients that sometimes seeking more in litigation could result in an adverse court judgment with an order for costs against the client.  Consider whether it is worth the risk in batting on.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.