Posts Tagged ‘La Fontaine’

The Wolf & The Lamb

December 12, 2013

A FABLE FOR OUR PLUTOCRATIC AGE.

My translation, direct from Jean de La Fontaine, complete with the most important parts emboldened and underlined:

The logic of the strongest is always the best

We will show this presently

A lamb was quenching his thirst

In the flow of a pure wave

A fasting wolf, looking for some adventure, shows up,

Attracted to these surroundings by hunger 

Who emboldened you so much that you disturbed my drink?

Said this animal full of rage:

You will be punished for your temerity.

Sire, responded the lamb, would it be that Your Majesty

Would not get angry;

But rather that She considers

That I am quenching my thirst

In the flow,

More than 20 paces below Her,

And thus consequently, in no way whatsoever,

Could I trouble Her drink.

You trouble it, retorted this cruel beast,

And I know that of me you spoke ill last year.

-How could I have done this, as I was not yet born?

Answered the Lamb, I am still at my mother’s breast.

-If it was not you, it was therefore your brother.

-I do not have any.

-It’s one of yours:

Because you do not spare me much,

You, your sheperds, and your dogs.

One has told me so: I must avenge myself.

Thereupon, in the depth of the forests

The Wolf carries him, and then devours him.

Without any other form of justice.

***

This fable captures the essence of the demonic mind. The desire to have one’s way is strong, even overwhelming, as it elevates to the sky the poisonous tendrils of the most perverse logic, while justice is flat and uninteresting.

The Wolf wants the Lamb, his desire itself is justice. The more the desire is denied, the more insistent it gets. Cruelty and rage ease the way of the Wolf’s desire. The tendency of making our want what universal justice enables is the ugliest, most irresistible device at the heart of man. The Lamb represents justice, it gets devoured.

So do not ask what plutocracy wants. It wants you. Bathing in gastric acid. Object in vain. It’s only justice.

***

Patrice Ayme