January 18, 2008
The Wolf and the Crane: A Russian Fable
One of the most interesting statues we saw in Russia was this one of the Wolf and the Crane, just outside the Kremlin.
I looked up the story and, as usual, it turned out to be one of Aesop's fables. It goes like this:
A Wolf had been gorging on an animal he had killed, when suddenly a small bone in the meat stuck in his throat and he could not swallow it. He soon felt terrible pain in his throat, and ran up and down groaning and groaning and seeking for something to relieve the pain. He tried to induce every one he met to remove the bone. "I would give anything," said he, "if you would take it out." At last the Crane agreed to try, and told the Wolf to lie on his side and open his jaws as wide as he could. Then the Crane put its long neck down the Wolf's throat, and with its beak loosened the bone, till at last it got it out.
"Will you kindly give me the reward you promised?" said the Crane.
The Wolf grinned and showed his teeth and said: "Be content. You have put your head inside a Wolf's mouth and taken it out again in safety; that ought to be reward enough for you."
Gratitude and greed go not together
This made so much sense from the point of view of tyrannical Russian rule. I swear the metaphorical translation of it would go something like:
Don't bicker and moan that you've been fucked by us in the past. Just be grateful we didn't fuck you in the ass!
Posted by linda at January 18, 2008 3:59 AM