Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Dog in the Manger

Here is a charming morality tale that has been attributed Aesop, the most iconic of all fable creators.  Although there is no proof, we find many versions of it through the centuries, even the Gospel of Thomas quotes a version of it:

Jesus said, "Woe to the Pharisees, for they are like a dog sleeping in the manger of oxen, for neither does he eat nor does he let the oxen eat".

The fable has a long tradition, and can be found in many printed versions.  An English reference is found a century earlier in John Gower's Confessio Amantis (c.1390):

Though it be not the hound's habit
To eat chaff, yet will he warn off
An ox that commeth to the barn
Thereof to take up any food. 
 (Book II, 1.84)

Sometimes, the role of the hungry and hardworking animal is depicted as a bovine, or an equine. The metaphor is timeless, and even the title "dog in a manger" has entered the lexicon to speak of those who spitefully and selfishly prevent others from having something that they themselves have no use for.  Curious to note, the shape of the dog cast into the role looks most often like a...

is that a Cocker Spaniel, or is it a Dachshund?


My Book House (there are 12 in the set and it is from book 3, Up One Pair of Stairs). Edited by Olive Beaupre Miller, Publishers The Book House for Children Chicago.Copyright 1920, 1925, 1928, 1937 by Olive Beaupre Miller.

Many talented writers have had fun reworking it into rhyming prose to the delight of many generations of children...

and corny adults.

To be empathetic, let's look at this fable from the perspective of a pit bull apologist.  They would say, we are like the dog, why should we begrudge someones right to privately own whatsoever animal they desire as a pet?
To them I would ask, "why do you begrudge my right to safety? "

And Just why does a person need to have........


Pop some corn, and invite the kiddies to watch! Click HERE!