Tag Archives: allegory

Negotiating With Wolves

Once upon a time, in a beautiful green meadow, there lived a flock of sheep. It was a beautiful meadow that offered many wonderful opportunities for happiness and comfort to the sheep who lived there. The flock had grazed and watered in this meadow for many years, growing from just a hardy handful to a swelling population that reflected much diversity.

Due to the bountiful opportunities for betterment that presented themselves in the meadow, this particular flock became the envy of all of the other flocks and herds around the region. Each generation of sheep had the chance to learn more, grow more and have more than the generation before it. The flock grew so great that many of the other flocksĀ benefitted from its greatness as well.

While the meadow was not perfect, it was still an amazing place in which to live, and more importantly, raise little lambs who would one day make the flock even larger and greater.

After a period of time, a problem arose. In one particular corner of the meadow, a pack of wolves began to lurk. They began to devour some of the youngest lambs. They did not hurt the adult sheep, just a few of the little ones.

Alarmed by these events, the sheep held a conference. They began to discuss whether or not the wolves had any right to eat the lambs. Although most were against the idea, there were a few who actually sided with the wolves. When they appealed to some of the leaders of the flock for wisdom, the leaders said, “Well, after all, a wolf is a wolf and will do what a wolf does. I suppose the only solution is to chase the wolves away, but is it really worthwhile to do so? After all, we risk getting hurt or killed ourselves if we try to fight the wolves, and besides, we might hurt the feelings of those sheep who like the wolves. Why don’t we just live and let live?”

Time went by and things got worse. The lambs began disappearing in increasing numbers. The wolves got more and more brazen with their killings until they were seen to openly flaunt their kills. Amazingly there were some of the sheep who actually cheered them and allowed their lambs to wander into the areas where the wolves were known to kill. They justified it by saying, “Well, that lamb was deformed.” Or, “I really don’t have the time or the grass to raise a lamb right now.” Or, “That lamb was sired by the wrong ram.” The future of the flock was actually being affected because of the number of lambs being killed.

There was one particular wolf who was very eloquent and charming, but had eaten his fair share of lambs. This wolf actually had a desire to become the leader of the flock of sheep.

Many of the sheep protested, “We don’t want you to lead our flock. You have killed too many of our little ones. Why should we think things will be better if you become our leader?”

The wolf replied, “I am not going to change my appetite. I am still going to continue to devour your lambs. I only eat the lambs of those sheep that I trust. I believe those ewes who send their lambs to my corner have given it a lot of thought and have discussed it with those they trust. It is their choice and their right to do what they will with the lives of their little lambs. But, perhaps we can move beyond the question of my appetite and maybe we can discuss how we can keep so many lambs from coming near me.”

As you can see, the sheep are faced with a big decision. The future well-being of their flock will be greatly affected by their choice.

What should they do?