Sunday, March 18, 2007

A parable

Not so long ago there was a happy little tribe. Well, I say happy, but there were a few problems. Decisions were made that affected the tribe, but people didn't get a say in it, and the tribespeople grumbled about the tribe's leaders.

One day a long, sinewy creature slithered into the tribe's little clearing in the jungle and promised to sort out the communication problems. He told all the tribespeople to go and sit on one side of the clearing, and the tribe's leaders to sit on the other side. He would listen to what the people said and then tell the leaders and then listen to what the leaders said and tell the people. Everyone agreed that this would help the tribe get past the grumbling.

Some months passed and the people wondered why they hadn't heard back from the creature. Also, they wondered why the tribe's leaders seemed to have heard a load of things that weren't true. When anyone asked the creature what was going on they were ignored. Then they noticed that the creature didn't have ears on the side of his diamond shaped head...

Eventually some of the tribespeople thought this was stupid and went to talk to the tribe's leaders. They found out that the creature had said a lot of things that weren't true and as a result the leaders were thinking of leaving the tribe. Of course, this had a knock on effect and pretty soon the whole tribe fell apart. Some people thought they should still trust the creature to sort things out, other people drifted off and joined other tribes (it was a big jungle and there were lots of clearings), and some stood up to the creature and asked what was going on, but the creature hissed at them and bared its fangs.

It was all quite sad, and most of the tribe couldn't really work out what had gone wrong. But they decided they couldn't go on as a tribe and so they made arrangements for all the tribe's possessions to be divided up among other nearby tribes in the jungle who could really use the help.

But just as they were about to do this, the creature came back and said he'd happily take over the tribe's possessions and keep them just in case a new tribe ever wanted to set up home in that clearing. The tribespeople were confused about what to do, because this was the first time they'd heard from the creature in ages.

But this time the tribespeople had learned their lessons. They weren't going to trust a fucking snake again.

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