Dogs must be the most unselfish creatures on earth, yet The Dog and his Reflection is a fable about a foolish, greedy mutt who was not content with what he already had – and that sounds familiar…
The DOG and his Reflection, a fable retold
Once upon a time there lived a stray dog. Now stray dogs have been around ever since man befriended the wolf, and turned him into a pet… But that is another story.
This stray dog is important because he made it on his own for many moons, while keeping his tail intact, thus long enough for him to become the hero of his own tale.
So, a stray dog with grey, shaggy fur, a rather scruffy tail – for he always got into fights – and bright, grey eyes (perhaps a dull color for some, but his just sparked with wit and a bit of mischief too), such a dog was hurrying home one day.
There was a bounce in his step and his tail was held high and it was wagging, his ears were pricked, and he was in a big hurry for he had just won a prize. That’s how he felt, for the butcher had thrown him a bone. Out of compassion, and fondness too for the shaggy, familiar dog. The butcher was a chatty, friendly fellow, and that morning he had just got a good deal from the farmer, see?
Now our dog, the stray dog, stepped so quick along the path that his paws seem to not even touch the ground. Ah, he felt so energized, the stray dog did (although he could feel his tummy sticking to his ribs), for he couldn’t wait to get home already and enjoy his prized possession. Besides, he was already drooling, the tasty bone sending such an alluring aroma into his quivering nostrils.
His home was by a pile of logs and brambles, on the outskirts of the village. A thick tree grew nearby too, so he had shelter from rain and wind, and a stream gurgled up from the ground too, so he had fresh water. What more could a young dog like him ask for?
There, there was his home, he thought while peeking ahead between two stray tufts from his eyebrows. All that was left was for him to cross the bridge. And on he went, bouncing and drooling, ah, the scent of his bone!
As he made his way across the narrow bridge the dog happened to catch a glimpse into the water below. What do you expect, it was a bright, sunny day and the pond gleamed in the sunshine. Its sparks just caught his eye.
So he slowed down to get a better look, the water as clear as a mirror. And what he saw in the water? What? But another dog! How! Carrying a bone! Really so?
Grrr… half-growled our dog, for his mouth was occupied with his juicy bone, yet his eyes narrowed. Grrrrrrrr, he growled again at the dog he spotted bellow and his fur stuck up on his neck, some drool dripping onto the bridge boards.
While the dog bellow appeared to growl back! Guarding his bone, a much bigger bone…
Is that so, thought our shaggy mutt, his eye now as big as two (empty) saucers.
Our rough dog whose tummy was growling quite loud by now broke to a halt on the bridge and dropped his bone, its heavenly scent still strong in his nose for bits of meat had stuck to his unkempt fur.
If he had only made it home, as his initial plan had been…. If he had only kept its pace across the bridge… It he had only stopped to think first, he would have been far better off.
But instead of thinking the greedy dog abandoned his tasty, juicy bone he looked forward to eating and pounced at the dog in the river. He jumped right in, mouth open to capture the bigger bone and make it his. Just because!
All he got was himself in the water, swimming around like mad and biting emptiness, fleeting water, while his bone, the real one, rolled on the other side of the bridge and was soon gone with a very soft plonk.
The shaggy and very drenched dog, albeit in a lighter shade of gray, eventually swam to shore, exhausted. After he managed to scramble out, and as he stood miserably – and quite hungry – thinking about the good bone he had lost, of which nothing was left, not even the scent caught in his woolly fur – finally realized what a silly and greedy dog he had been. And learned a lesson, we hope.
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When two animals with different looks meet at a waterhole they don’t think twice about how different they are… in height, color, fur, shape of face or size of tummy… they become friends.
The Chimp and the Dog.