Thursday 14 February 2013

The Wolf and Lamb

'The Wolf and the Lamb', an illustration by JVL in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989.

The setting for this illustration is the entrance to the lane where I have lived for the past 42 years.

It is a fable by Phaedrus about a wolf who is determined to gobble up a lamb. He tries to find a pretext for doing so by claiming that the lamb had muddied the water in a stream when he was drinking from it. The lamb tells him that he was drinking downstream to the wolf and therefore it wasn't possible that he was muddying the water. The wolf then complained that the lamb had been grazing on his patch of ground, whereupon the lamb said this was not possible either, since he was still at the stage of drinking from his mother's milk only. The wolf, fed up with the lamb's justifications, decides to kill him and devour him anyway. 

The fable is appropriate to those who invent false charges by way of oppressing the innocent.

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