Friday, November 25, 2011

Fables for Fearful Times: The Boar and the Goose

A wild boar ran in the forest outside a king's castle. He was famous for eluding the king's huntsmen, but he was even more infamous for boasting about his close escapes. The other beasts were so tired of hearing his stories that many started to root for the hunters.

As the boar grew older, he started to lose the quick reflexes that helped him elude the hunters in the past. He knew he had to do something to maintain his edge, especially since the king was more intent than ever on catching him.

The boar had heard about a goose who lived in a forest pond. The goose was known for his incredibly loud honk and he was as proud of it as the boar was of his escapades with the huntsmen.

The boar sought out the goose and said, "I'm the famous forest boar. I'm the biggest, baddest boar there ever was. I'm so bad that the king has placed a high price on my head. I'll pay you handsomely if you'll honk any time the king's huntsmen approach."

The goose decided that the job sounded easy enough. "If I can just tolerate this jerk for a while, I can make a pretty decent buck. Then I can blow him off and move south permanently."

So the goose began accompanying the boar on his rounds through the forest. First the boar saw a porcupine and stopped to talk.

"Hey, Porky! This is my pal the goose. I hired him to honk whenever the hunters are near," said the boar.

The goose strutted with his bill in the air as he was introduced.

The boar added, "Now those buffoons won't ever catch me. Not that they would have anyway. I remember the last time I had a run-in with those idiots..."

And the boar continued with his story until the porcupine tired of him and walked away.

"Let's go see the fox," said the boar.

The goose followed the boar over to the fox's den.

"Foxy!" shouted the board into the den. "It's me, the boar."

There was no answer.

The goose said, "If he's in there, this will bring him out."

The goose took a deep breath, poked his head through the door of the den and let out a mighty honk.

Seconds later the fox poked out his head, quite annoyed at the disturbance.

"Hey, how ya doin' Foxy," asked the boar. "This is my pal the goose."

The boar said to the goose, "Foxy's pretty sly, but even he couldn't have given those hunters the slip like I did. Why those guys are so dumb. I remember the time..."

And the boar started yakking out another tale. The fox tired quickly and disappeared into his den. Halfway through the boar's boring story, the goose became very sleepy and dozed off.

Shortly thereafter, a hunter who overheard the boar's loud boasts emerged from the brush, drew his bow and shot the boar.

That night the king and his huntsmen ate well. So did the fox, who came back out of his den and decided the sleeping goose would make a tasty meal.

MORAL: Brash displays of pride and vanity do little more than make you stand out on the menu.

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