Divide Et Impera: A Fable

Well, people are sheep mostly. Easily deceived, manipulated, betrayed and eaten by Wise Men herdsmen, who divide and conquer, and so it has been since times immemorial.

There was a man once – and this is no fable – who was an exceptionally clever sheep, the sheep like no other. The “Wise Man” didn’t like him very much – sheep like this guy are often trouble. The Wise Man gave the guy his best “You are the lion and my best friend” speech.
“I am a sheep, just like everybody else,” was the reply. “I’m no lion and don’t wish to become one any time soon. Lions eat sheep, but I’m not the kind who’d enjoy it.”

And he remained an ordinary member of the flock. A few times, every time unsuccessfully, he tried to rally other sheep to do something worthwhile and wonderful together. But there wasn’t any sheep who’d listen and go along. Much to his chagrin, he realized that he was surrounded by a wolf and a lion, a tiger and whatnot, one of each… The Wise Man must’ve talked to everyone vis-à-vis and in confidence. Obviously, the Wise Man was called thus for a reason.

I used to know this man when he was young, brilliant, idealistic and an optimist. Indeed, he was no sheep among sheep then, although he wanted to be a part of a flock, perhaps, only slightly ahead of it. But the flock rejected the only lion between them… Ah, well, you know how that could have happened…

I wonder how his life (and, maybe, the lives of other sheep) would’ve turned out if he’d go along with the Wise Man’s game and outwitted him in the end, becoming a “lion that could” and try to wake up his divided and conquered co-flockers. But then again, he could have turned into yet another Wise Man…

Ah, well, I simply like old fables — translated this one from Ukrainian, embellishing it along the way, and made it into pretty pictures… What can I say, I like making pretty pictures out of old fables.


4 comments on “Divide Et Impera: A Fable

  1. Divide and conquer is but one strategy to keep a “functional” flock. Another important part known to any manager is structural organization.
    As the size of corporation grows it becomes impractical to talk to individual sheep. Instead one delegates such duties to a “wolf-sheep”, “lion-sheep”, senior “wolf-sheep”, mid-levels and so on. They become responsible for delivery of “fresh produce”.

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