Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Render Unto Caesar - Or, Not

I don't know if this is actually an old fable or not. I ran across it in Isaac Asimov's novel Foundation, in which one character explains to a recently defeated enemy how to exert one's will without resorting to out-and-out force.

In desperation to preserve its life, a horse seeks an ally in its war against a powerful and dangerous enemy, the wolf. He approaches a man and suggests an alliance, pointing out that the wolf is likewise an enemy of man.

The man accepts the partnership, but only if the horse is willing to place its greater speed and agility at the man's disposal. The horse agrees, allowing the man to outfit it with bridle, bit, and saddle. The man mounts the horse, spurs it on, and together they hunt down the wolf and kill it.

The horse, joyful and relieved, thanks the man and says, "Now that we have defeated our common enemy, please remove your bridle and saddle and restore me to my former freedom."

Whereupon the man laughs loudly and replies, "Never!" and proceeds to re-apply the spurs.

I don't know about you, but my back hurts.


Gnomeself Be True said...

Ummm, yep.

Just can't let them get that bridle over your nose, 'cause then it's all over.

Jenny said...

That's a very scary analogy.

now I need to go find the heating pad.

h said...

I read "The Foundation" series. Asimov's on my boycott list now though.

I kept hoping "The Mule" would emerge victorious.

moi said...

Gnome: Sort of like being "a little bit pregnant."

Boxer: Don't forget the Vodka and Icy Hot.

Troll: Hey, I was rooting for the Mule, too! Why are you boycotting Asimov?

chickory said...

oh. that is good. and chilling.

massive quantity of sweet potatoes. too bad so many of them are little. but about 8 of them are a respectable store size. hard day on the dirt pile. every time i get tired i will remember this fable.....and press the F on

Kymical Reactions said...

This makes me sad for the horse.

h said...


I found out he gave money to the traitor-democrat-party-of-filth and other Anti-Christian organizations.

Aunty Belle said...

Perfect description of the current madness.