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Polaris AB: The Fable Collection of Short Stories
A lean, hungry fox drawn by the smell of poultry wafting in the air one moonlit night, came across a plump, well-fed dog guarding the well stocked chicken coop outside his master's house.
The dog spotted the fox and moved quickly towards him only being pulled up short by a long chain that was just long enough to allow him to move around and protect the whole area.
The fox sat down just out of reach of the dog and started a conversation.
"I was just passing by and I saw you outside your Master's home looking like a fine strong fellow.
Your Master obviously is pleased with you to feed you so, you must be his favourite".
The dog was pleased with hearing this and replied, "It is not so bad, but what about you, you have no collar, no chain, you are free to roam around as you please, as I must be by my Master's side by day and chained up to this yard every night".
"Oh yes", said the fox, "I have total freedom and many adventures being able to travel where and when I wish to. But this time of year, it is difficult to find the food that I like, the same food as yours actually, nodding towards his bowl full of scraps and gnawed bones".
"Really", said the dog, "I would love to be able to roam free, even it was just for a short while, to see a different view and investigate all the interesting smells that drift into my yard from afar".
"Well", said the fox, "I will tell you something. Tomorrow is a moonless night, it will be dark and difficult to see. How about we swap places, so that when your Master comes out to feed you and chain you up for the night, I will lie low and hide my head so that he will not see that he is chaining me instead. I will then be able to take my fill of the scraps he has thrown out and you will then be free to roam as you please overnight and return in the morning full of adventures to tell me before he awakes".
The dog eagerly agreed to the plan and arranged to meet the fox the next night just before sunset to swap places.
Early the following morning, having spent the night roaming around the countryside, the dog returned to his Master's house to find all the Lights on and the Master wide awake. As he quickly entered the yard looking for the fox, he saw the coops overturned and all the chickens gone. Only a few bloodied feathers remained upon the ground next to an empty chain.
"You useless dog", said the Master, "where were you last night when I came to feed you? What good are you by not being here to do what was needed of you".
"I have been such a fool", thought the dog, "for what I was offered by temptation, in my haste to be free, has condemned those I was trusted to safeguard, by trickery".
And the Moral of the story is:
Better to consider the long term consequences rather than the short term gains.
What appears at first to be a fair deal, promises much but often delivers nothing of value.
Aesop c. 600 B.C.