Friday, November 25, 2011

Fables for Fearful Times: The Hen and the Weasel

There once was a hen who graduated with honors from college. After many years of hard work in school, she was ready to find a job and begin a successful career. It wasn't long before she found a job in the product development department of a large corporation. On her first day of work, her boss, a weasel, called her into his office.

"Hen, please come in - and grab me a cup of coffee on your way," said Weasel. "Cream. No sugar. Remember that."

Hen went into Weasel's office, reluctantly delivering the coffee.

"Hen, we're so glad you're with us," said Weasel. "I expect many good things from you," he added with a sneer. "You can start by re-typing this letter."

Hen looked at the piece of paper that Weasel thrust at her and thought, "I'm not here to be his secretary. I'm not here to deliver him coffee. Just who does he think he is asking me to do these things?"

The more Hen thought about it, the more upset she became. Suddenly, she go so made she began to cluck and tremble.

Weasel, not quite sure what was happening, hid behind his desk. A few moments passed, then, almost as suddenly as it started, the hubbub stopped. Weasel peaked over his desk just as Hen stood to leave. On the seat where Hen had been sitting was an egg.

Weasel's eyes widened with excitement. "That was incredible!," he said. "Can you do another one?"

Hen, now feeling that she was getting some respect from Weasel, sat. A few minutes later, she stood up and revealed another egg.

"This is absolutely amazing," said Weasel. "Forget about that letter. Get to work laying more eggs. This could well be a very important development."

Hen left the office and went off to lay eggs.

A few days later the company newsletter came out. On the front page was a photograph of the CEO shaking hands with Weasel. The caption said that Weasel had developed the perfect food - comes in its own easy-to-open package and cooks quickly. It added that it was a most revolutionary development and everyone has Weasel to thank for it.

Hen could not believe that Weasel had taken all the credit for the egg. She stormed into his office.

"You took all the credit for my eggs!," she shouted.

"You might have laid them," said Weasel, "but it was me who saw their potential."

"Well, here's something you didn't see," said Hen. "I quit!" With that, she stormed out of the office.

Weasel tried to lay eggs of his own, but of course it did not work. Within a few weeks all of Hen's eggs were gone and soon thereafter Weasel was fired for lack of productivity. He lived out the rest of his life in wretched poverty. Meanwhile, Hen married a famous baseball mascot and raised a happy, healthy family while running a successful independent marketing firm.

MORAL: Don't take credit for others' work and ideas. If you do, the only eggs you'll get will be on your face.

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