September 13, 2007

Aesop "Hit it on the Nose"

There's this book store just a few miles away. I've probably passed it a couple of hundred times over the past twenty years or so, but never had occasion to go in. It's in kind of a ratty-looking older shopping center (point one against it), and it's right next to a Mexican Supermarket and other such (point two against it). Jenny (being a little more adventurous than I) went in there a few weeks ago, and told me how unbelievably cool it was inside, and eventually dragged me out there.

As soon as I stepped through the doors, I was absolutely enthralled. Row upon Row, and Stack upon Stack of old hard-bound volumes. I was like a kid in a candy store. I think we spent an hour and a half in there that day, but it passed like it was five minutes. I came out with a volume entitled "Oil Hydraulic Power and its Industrial Applications" written in 1949. But Jenny had got me a gift from her first visit. A "Harvard Classic" Copyright 1909 "Folk-Lore and Fable Volume 17".

I finally started reading the tome this evening, and I got out to page 13... and it struck me. I'd been wanting to do a post on 9/11 (six year's after) and I couldn't come up with anything that felt right. when I read the fable "The Man And The Serpent" from this P.F. and Collier Collection, I was ashamed that I hadn't read it earlier. I'll quote it here in its entirety:

A Countryman's son by accident trod upon a Serpent's tail, which turned and bit him so that he died. The father in a rage got his axe, and pursuing the Serpent, cut off part of its tail. So the Serpent in revenge began stinging several of the Farmer's cattle and caused him severe loss. Well, the Farmer thought it best to make it up with the Serpent, and brought food and honey to the mouth of its lair, and said to it: Let's forget and forgive; perhaps you were right to punish my son, and take vengeance on my cattle, but surely I was right in trying to revenge him; now that we are both satisfied why should not we be friends again?" "No, no," said the Serpent; "take away your gifts; you can never forget the death of your son, nor I the loss of my tail."

"Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten."

I can't say it better.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at 09:43 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack