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 September 13, 2007 09:43 PM | TrackBack

And some injuries can never be forgiven.

That said, per the fable, I can hold a grudge for a lifetime. I tell people, I can forgive, but I never forget. That fable pretty much sums up my life. ;-)

Posted by: Bou at September 17, 2007 06:15 AM

A scorpion, despite any words, is still a scorpion.

And scorpions sting.

Posted by: _Jon at September 17, 2007 10:19 AM

Hmmmm... I think a .45 might take care of the problem... Maybe a molotov cocktail.

There should never be bartering with serpents.

Posted by: Richmond at September 29, 2007 03:47 PM

Just passing through on the blogcrawl. I use handgun shotshells for snakes, myself.

Posted by: Peter at September 29, 2007 08:04 PM

crawling through... not a snake though

Posted by: vw bug at September 29, 2007 08:06 PM

It's hard to crawl while holding a drink, though, isn't it?

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at September 29, 2007 08:44 PM

and then I have to crawl after the people spilling drinks.

Posted by: sticks at September 29, 2007 09:30 PM

Strike 'em before they can strike you is our motto... Mrs. Who is the Serpent's Angel of Death in these deep woods of the South - but my kill count is nowhere near hers.

Anyway, crawlin' on...

Posted by: Bitterroot at September 29, 2007 10:26 PM

That's a good story. Hey, gonna be in nkcoxville in november, we should get together.

Posted by: Contagion at September 30, 2007 01:24 AM

Wow... I just pictured a drinking contest between you & Contagion.

I think both of you would drink the freakin' TABLE under the table :-)

Posted by: Harvey at October 3, 2007 08:50 PM