Archive for the ‘parable’ Category

Fat Louie, a Duck With Gout, a Parable about Fowl Health Care

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Louie was an old fat fluffy white duck.

He lived in a small private lake east of Atlanta. The lake was man made as an amenity for a small  condominium community of two story rustic wooden apartments, known as Snapfinger Woods Estates.

The Lake was appropriately named Snapfinger Woods Lake.

At one time, when Louie was younger, he was the head duck of the small flock which claimed Snapfinger Lake as their year round private residence.

During the Spring, the flock consisted of  12 – 14 adults, and would expand to 18 – 20 by the end of  Summer.As the young left during the Fall and Winter, the flock would settle back to the core members, looking to Louie for leadership and content with the easy life of  a controlled environment.

The human residents of Snapfinger Woods Apartments would regularly feed Louie and his flock. Children loved to throw bread and cake crumbs into the lake, laughing with glee as Louie and his companions raced to be the first to reach and consume the morsels.

Louie being the lead duck, was the strongest and fastest swimmer of the flock.

When the humans threw food into the lake, Louie was always the first to get there, and invariably, he would eat and eat and eat. Only when he was stuffed would the rest of the flock get a chance at the bread , cake, and other delicacies offered.

Louie loved to show off how fast he could swim.

As the seasons passed, Louie found himself growing older and fatter. He was consuming increasingly large quantities of human food, and his once sleek muscular body began to expand, turning to duck flab.

One morning Louie woke from a deep sleep, his right foot pulsing with a dull throb. He tried to ignore the pain, quacking loudly to let his human providers know  that he was awake and hungry.

He moved his webbed feet, as ducks do, to begin swimming, while flapping his wings for speed and stability.

The pain in his foot intensified to a steady throb, and Louie was forced to stop trying to swim.

The other drakes, noticing Louie’s plight, began quacking and swimming  in circles. When the humans threw food, they quickly chased after the breakfast, leaving Louie sitting dead in the water.

One human began throwing bread towards Louie  , attempting to help him get a chance at some food.

He slowly and painfully paddled towards the bread, but the other ducks seeing his movement, turned and headed towards the floating food.

First one  and then another of the young males bumped into Louie, roughly shoving him out of the way.

“Quack, Quack, you’re damaged. ” They shouted,” You get no food. Only healthy ducks get to stay with the flock.”

” Why?” croaked Louie, feeling hungry and somewhat frightened. ” I’m lead duck.”

” Not anymore,” They quacked in unison,” Damaged ducks can not be part of the flock, Haven’t you ever heard of Charles Darwin, or Survival of the fittest?  ”

Sadly, for the first time in his life, Louie felt alienated and alone.He had become a victim of his position of lead duck, He had been too good and too competitive. He had always  been first to get fed, earning human applause and rewards for being the best and the fastest.

Sadly, now, his reward for being  more successful and competitive  was a very painful case of the gout.

The other ducks had always resented his success.

Louie was forced to leave the pond which he had ruled for most of his life.

Louie was faced with the most humiliating punishment possible  for being a successful duck. He was banished from the flock and forced to live on land, painfully waddling along the edge of the lake, his gout swollen right foot, a symbol of his fall from mediocrity.

He went to the next flock meeting of the Greater Atlanta Duck Association(GADA) to ask for help.

A large Gander, with a very long neck and narrow  limpid brown eyes looked  down his beak at the obviosly uncomfortable Louie, balancing unsteadily on his good leg.

“Stand still and lower your eyes when addressing  GADA. ” He huffed with disdain. ” We have very limited resources to cure injured ducks, especially older fat ducks such as yourself.”

He paused, looking very annoyed that Louie had had the nerve to ask the council for a cure, “We find you too old. The cure will be too expensive and must be saved  for more worthy younger members of the flock. Henceforth you will be known as Fat Louie, and will be forced to live out the rest of your days on land, so as not to contaminate or hinder the rest of the masses.”

Fat Louie lived for several more seasons, largely at the largess of the human residents of Snapfinger Woods Apartments. His wealth and position was spread among the others in his pond.

Once again the system had worked. The good of the many superceded the good of the individual. 

When the humans took pity on Fat Louie and continued to feed him on land, many of them lost interest in the ducks still in the pond and ceased feeding them.

A human recession helped to bankrupt Snapfinger Estates, and  the complex was sold to a developer who drained the pond and built a small office building and parking lot where the pond had been.

Fat Louie continued to live on dry land and the secretaries took pity on the fat duck with the bad right foot, and continued to feed him cakes and cookies, until his death from escalated cholesterol several summers later.

Moral of the Story: Sometimes being the best and the fastest gets you promoted to your own exclusive club.

                                           And sometimes it’s a pain in the  . a..  foot.

Wally Woodchuck Gets Stimulated by an Economic Stimulus Package

Monday, February 9th, 2009
Wally Woodchuck gets stimulated by an” Economic Stimulus Package”


a parable

About Fiscal Irresponsibility


Charlie Champion


Wally Woodchuck was full of himself.  He was cool, he knew it and anyone who didn’t recognize his coolness was very uncool.

If you had any doubts about Wally’s specialness,  just ask him..” I’m Hip,  I’m Cool.  Lay it on me , baby,” he would reply, looking down his nose at such a plebeian question.

Several months ago, while surfing the City garbage dump; Wally had found a pair of discarded, Barbie doll sun glasses.  They were over-sized by woodchuck standards, but with the help of a length of salvaged wire, they were able to perch precipitously on the bridge of his nose.

Wally looked at his reflection in a pool of water, ” These glasses are the final touch.” He thought. ” I’m much too fine to do any woodchucking. That type of work is only for suckers and regular Woodchucks.. The other Woodchucks should feed me and take care of all my health and wealth needs.

After all, ” He continued,” I’ ve worked very hard at being too cool to work.  It’s much more fun to drink with my friends, chase after females in heat and get free food from public storage during the Winter.”

He ambled over to the local wood pile and leaned against a stump.

There was a group of 10 or 12 woodchucks busy at work, chucking the wood into ragged piles.

He noticed three of his buddies working as part of the group.

He snickered as Warren Woodchuck picked up a length of tree limb.” Hey Willie , look at sexy Wanda Woodchuck.” He pointed off to his right.

When Willie Woodchuck looked away, searching for Wanda, Warren chucked the branch he was holding, landing a glancing blow at the back of Willies head.

” Hey who did that?” Growled Willie, in mock anger. ” Who hit me in the head?” He looked around the work group, while reaching down to pick up a clod of mud.

As Willie straightened up, he threw the muddy clump aiming at Warren’s head.

Seeing the approaching mud ball, Warren ducked. The mud ball sailed over his head and hit group leader , Winston, smack in the snout.

The ensuing melee lasted far too long and left several members of the group nursing injuries, effectively ending any any additional work getting done.

Still chuckling, Wally went over to his friends.” Look at you guys! What a sight.”  He shook his head. ” You all certainly made a mess. All the wood that you chucked is gone, mashed in with the mud.”

Willie’s black nose glistened with moisture and a splatter of brown mud.  ” What do you think we should do, Wally?  The Union leaders and their supervisors will be angry that we ruined all this work. ” He rubbed his mouth. ” I chucked so much wood that my teeth hurt.”.

” Who are you kidding?” sneered Wally. “Your teeth hurt because Winston Woodchuck smacked you in the mouth for hitting him with that mud.”

Willie looked sheepish. ” Perhaps you are right.  So what do we do to fix this mess?”

” We go to the Union Hall and talk to Wingo.  He’s our representative to the Bosses. They can’t do anything without Wingo’s, O K ; you know that.”

Willie sighed . ” I forgot. Things have changed so much since the world economy crashed two years ago. Everything is so different. So easy.  They tell us what to do….when and how to do it. I get tax rebate checks even if I don’t work.”

Wally Woodchuck nodded in agreement. “As long as the Red Woodchuck’s United party remains in power, we can’t get fired. Our share of the Annual Spending Stimulus (A . S . S . ) pays for our food…takes care of our landlord… pays for our health care. We get a monthly stimulus payment. ” He looked at his friend,” and if we mess up at work, our union covers our ASS.”

Warren walked over and joined his friends. Reaching out , he patted Willie on the back.” Wally’s right,” he said, ” Let someone else clean up the mess. There are plenty of woodchuck’s wanting to work. Let them do it if they are so industrious.. hard work and responsibility are such old fashioned concepts. .”

” Right on baby,”  said cool Wally.  The sunlight bounced off his shades, rendering his eyes invisible. ” Pre-bailout is passe.  Give me my stimulus  and let me go play. Working is for squares. Let someone else do it.”

He thought about it for a moment, then smiled. ” Yes, that’s it,  let someone else do it.  Our new motto,  let someone else do it! ”

Warren and Willie picked up the chant. “Let someone else do it! ” they shouted in unison. ” Let someone else do it! ”

The Economic Rescue and Stimulus Package,(E.R.S.P.) had accomplished its goal.

Woodchuck ambition and innovation had been replaced by government employment. Everyone got a job. Working was optional.

Healthcare was available to every person in the Country and the quality was equally low and slow for all.

The standard of living was permanentally lowered, but no citizen was forced to work for their lowered standard.

And, of course, most important of all, THE RED WOODCHUCKS UNITED party( TRWU) was the benevolent orchestrator of our welfare, safety and what we can think from now on.

A very comforting thought.








Barstool Beaver, and the Bridge Over the River Split Tongue, a Parable about Make Work Projects

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009


Barstool Beaver poked his nose out of the water, cautiously sniffing the air.

The late  Fall sun was low on the horizon, and  the cool brisk wind  smelled crisp and clear.There was  no trace of the wolf pack or the big old brown bear that occasionally stalked the beaver colony.

The  drought  had intensified this summer, and the lack of rainfall had taken its toll,The Split Tongue river was unusually shallow and slow moving..

Barstool Beaver  hauled his body out of the sediment clogged water. The river bank was muddy and covered with fallen leaves, broken twigs, and other miscellaneous flotsam.

 He was just three years old, but Barstool was already 26 inches long  and weighed 55 pounds, both large for an adult  beaver. His thick brown hair was lush and glistened with  natural oils.

He shook once to remove the muddy water that was splattered  across his body, and ambled towards the dam construction site.

“It’s time  to get to work” he grumbled. ” I hate the night shift. It gets so cold after the sun goes down.”

As he walked towards the job, he reminisced about the good times.

The times when it rained enough, and the river was full and swift. When every able bodied  beaver was needed on dam construction and reinforcement. 

The times when there was enough work for every beaver to be productive, and to earn a full share of  a plentiful food supply.

The times when he just had to just show up to get  as much  good food  as a beaver could want, without having to work too hard.

“Yes ,” he thought,” My first year was so much better.   Plenty of necessary work to do. I was important for just arriving at work .

They gave me a nice new home. Lent me the money to fix it up, and never asked my name or how old I was….The Good Old Days.”

Barstool Beaver shrugged his shoulder and kept walking.” Now they take back my home, its called foreclosure, and they give my nice snug  burrow to a family of Otters.”

He stamped his front paw.” Not Fair! I should be entitled to a home and food. Maybe a warm snug bed…” He let the thought trail off as he was distracted by a female beaver approaching from his right.

Belinda Beaver was a  petite silver tipped beaver. Her  svelt body and opulent   lush fur had most of the young males fighting to impress her.

” Hey Barstool, ” she smiled, ”

” Hey Belinda.” He waved.

” You want to swim with me?” She gave him a big wink.

” Sh sure,” He stammered, then remembered his work.” I’m supposed to work on the new dam tonight.”

” New dam? We don’t need a new dam.” She retorted. ” The original dam is working well enough for this old slow river. What do we need a new dam for?”

” It’s not just one dam, they have a series of five dams planned .” He shrugged” Its part of a comprehensive stimulus package to get all of the Beavers working again.”

She battered her long lashes ,” Honey too many dams will flood the valley, and besides I want to play now. ”

Barstool hesitated. She was right of course. Too many dams constructed along this section of the  River Split Tongue, would result in  some serious flooding.

” What the heck.” he thought. ” The Beaver colony will feed me even if I don’t work. After all, what good is a bailout if  it doesn’t allow me some free time for fun and games.

I’m probably doing the valley a favor by not working too hard.Work Less prevent flooding.” He rationalized. 

By the next Spring, the main dam was leaking badly.

There were 2 new very wobbly dams up river, and three partially constructed ones that washed away with the first Spring thaw.

When the drought ended in early May, the Spring rains swept all five new dams away, then overwhelmed the neglectd original structure.

The Beaver colony lost 60% of its population .

The local valley was flooded and eventually when the waters receeded a 2 inch layer of debris covered the formerly fertile fields.

Many animals starved. Hunger and poverty were rampant.

Just in time for a new much larger Stimulus package to rescue  the  entire valley .


How Can We Turn a Recession into a Depression

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

I have been telling you a shortened version of how Hoover and Roosevelt managed to turn a bursting speculative bubble, and a moderate recession into THE Great Depression.

In A previous article I gave you some unemployment data,based upon a Vedder & Gallaway  statistical study in their book “Out of Work”.

 Unemployment in November 1929 , was just over 5% almost two  months  after the market crash . 

Unemployment hit a high of 9% + in December 1929, but gradually dropped to mid 6% by the beginning of Summer 1930.

 President Hoover and later FDR began tampering with the economy . They attempting to reduce unemployment  by  imposing  protectionist  tariffs.

This intervention resulted in double digit unemployment , but it was more than a year after the crash.

The more they attempted to fix the economy, the higher the unemployment numbers became.

F D R interfered with the economy more than any President to that time. Previously, it was not considered the business of the Government to  intervene in economic cycles. 

The more Roosevelt tried to use government spending to help the economy, the higher the unemployment rates soared.

The methodology which he used , involved putting people to work!  Sponsoring Publick works! Rebuilding and improving the infrastructure! All honorable intentions.

However, let me explain.

Everyone knows the expression,” the road to someplace is paved with good intentions.”

Here is whar Franklin D Roosevelt and several other well intentioned leaders have done, or are about to do. 

For clarity, lets shrink everything down to a small parable.

Lets say the President has $ 1 million available to stimulate the economy.The money was from the Treasury , and had come via taxes collected.

He looks at the pile of bills.” Not bad,” He thinks. This is quite a large pile. I should be able to help a great many people with all this money.

He scratches his chin,” My citizens are hurting. Unemployment keeps going up. The people are hungry.”

“What should I do?”


“I know what I have to do.” He picks up the phone. “Mr Secretary, we must do the right thing. The safe thing.  The Politically expedient thing .”

He holds the phone away from his ear. The voice on the line is speaking loudly.

Finally the President becomes impatient. ” Listen” He says, ” Do you want to help the country, or do you want to get reelected?’

There was silence on the other end.

“We must get money and stimulus directly to the people.” He continues,” We will take our $1 million and create public works jobs .Our people will build bridges, repair roads, construct  hydro electric plants and wind turbine farms.”

” Of the $ 1 Million, $400,000 will go to administer the programs, maybe $250000 will go towards advertising and Public Relations, so that the voters know who created all these jobs.The rest will go directly to the people  to put bread on their tables.”  

 The plan was implemented. The money was spent. The people were put to work… For 1 year…Then what?

In this scenario, which is what happened under FDR, the unemployment rate went up to over 20% and stayed there with a few short term exceptions, for over 4 years.

We had created new dams and new roads, but no new jobs, no new industry, and no new wealth.


The President takes the $ 1million and calls in CEO’s from 5 small but successful private buisnesses.

” Gentlemen,” He says.” Our Nation is in trouble. The economy is in a slide, and unemployment is growing. “He looks around the room.

“We need your help. Your Country needs your help.

Here is $1million. Taxpayer money. A precious public trust.

I want to give it to you Gentlemen to invest.

Take the money, go back to your businesses and invest this public money. Use it to expand your business. Enter new markets, create new wealth.”


The Troll Wars, Getting Ugly

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

For thousands of years, the Troll population of the world has worked with a  dilligent subterranean  purpose.

Nesting under bridges, they have spread their foul fetid refuse as a contribution to the worldwide pollution . Their gaseous carbon and sulphur emissions have been a constant, odorific addition to the greenhouse effect, which is a factor in global warming.

Due to the corrosive nature of these gasses, the infrastructure in many places is beginning to crumble. The Bridge collapse in Minneappolis last year was accelerated , due to the Troll population of Minnesota . A massive politically correct coverup, has blamed this unfortunate disaster on other factors. 

Those that are savvy acknowledge that the  current Senatorial election  mess  in Minnesota is an attempt to divert attention from the comming Troll Wars. 

During the past decade, a major rift has begun  developing in the world of Trolls.

A Danish manufacturer of Troll dolls has been intentionally disguiseing the true nature of Trolls.

They have portrayed the troll population as “Good Luck” beings. Showing them to be cute and cuddly, with fuzzy, brightly colored hair that  stands straight up.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Trolls are wicked, selfish hedonistic opportunists, who pollute as part of their daily existence. They constantly growl about Global Warming and greenhouse gasses, but their emissions are particularly  odorous and corrosive.

A new company has entered the Troll manufacturing market. With the slogan ” Conservative truth in advertising, lets call a Troll a Troll” they have begun marketing a very different version of the Troll personna.

Their Trolls are made of rigid plastic, with heavily creased  wicked visages. Their hair is coarse and wild, their mouths are in a constant frown. The greedy eyes are very small and set close together. They have been named the “Dammit Dolls”, and reveal more of the true nature of the Troll.

An ideological  battle is brewing, for the hearts and minds of the Troll population.

Will the Trolls continue on their dastardly devious descent into the draconian deeds  of deceptive destruction on our environment.

Or,  will the New Age Trolls manage to curtail those gaseous emissions, and perhaps face up to the guilt which is truthfully theirs.

Troll Power!!!!!

The 1920’s and the Economy, Then and Now-A Parable

Monday, December 8th, 2008

The Roaring 1920’s and the economy


                 Forest  Parable

The 1920’s and the Roaring economy

Study history so we don’t make the same mistakes again


                      Charlie Champion  

The forest was filled with a cacophony of  excitement .

Times were good, and the living was easy.

Several years of plentiful rainfall, moderate winters,  and warm nurturing Springs had turned the forest  into a virtual paradise . 

Food was plentiful.

 The predators had been hunted nearly to extinction by the two legged’s. Those that were not killed had left  for the deep unknown forest  far far away.

The cries, squeaks, craws et. al., of the new babies filled the air .

No predators meant bigger families, but the bounty provided by Mother Nature kept all, well fed. 

The wise old Badger was the local  leader, but his stories and warnings were causing the younger animals  to loose patience . He had lived a long life and was experienced in the  ways of nature . He was concerned that the bad times would come back. The younger animals who had never experienced  the fury of Nature ,refused to believe him..

“Yes my friends.” he warned, ” many of you are young. You do not remember the hard times from before.”

He looked around the clearing.” The Winters are not always so easy. There have been many years when we’ve been plagued by severe drought. ”

   He shook his head sadly,”When the streams dry up, then hunger comes to the forest.”

” Oh go on old man!”  Patty Bunny stamped her foot.” Who has time for sad old stories. Old stories are boreing.”

” Don’t say that,”he responded sternly.”To ignore history is to run the risk of repeating your mistakes.”

“Boo on you” said Ronnie rabit.

“Enough already ,” rasped Willie Weasle,” Lets live the good life. It’s time to party.This is the way it’s always going to be.”

“yada ,ya, ya” They hopped off giggling  and whispering.

Several months passed. The Summer was a distant memory.

A large volcano errupted off the coast. The sky was turned grey almost 750 miles distant.

The weather patterns were  changed. A noticeable drop in temperatures became apparent.

The wild fruits and berries never fully ripened, the tubes and bulbs were underdeveloped.

It was 4 or 5 degrees colder, and..  it it almost never rained.

Food became scarce . No one was prepared.

There were not enough stored acorns.

No stockpiled food.

Shortages developed almost overnight.

And the predators returned!!! Driven by hunger spurred by the drout and the very cold winter.

The happy well fed party generation disappeared in an avalanche of change.

Painful change.

Society altering change.

The 1920’s and the Economy

Want to read more?

Just ask.

The Silver Tipped Grey Wolf Who Wished to be President of the Pack

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Hillaria Wolf had always been very large for her age.

She had been known since she was a pup,  for her cunning and brutality.   Her instincts for survival , and her disregard for the life of others was legendary throughout the pack.

Her selfish  and selfserving approach  to life caused her to be treated with loathing and suspicion by her contemporaries.  

In fact as a pup, during a particularly bad winter she had devoured the runt of the  litter  of her  siblings .

This was a move of despicable self preservation.

But…. She was hungry and  the live prey  helped her to survive the cold winter, and marked her as a Wolf to be reckoned with.

Hillaria was ambitious. Even though she was a bitch,  she planned and conspired to  become head wolf.

A bitch as pack leader was just not done in the world of Silver Tipped Grey Wolves, but  Hillaria was determined. She was born top dog, and would never accept a subservient position in the heirarchy of the pack.

In the Springtime of her third year, she encountered a male Silver Tipped Grey from a neighboring pack. His name was Billwill . He was large and muscular, with a thick full coat. His size, and affable nature placed him in a position of prominence within his own pack.

Billwill was highly sociable. He loved flirting with the young bitches, and they seemed drawn to his musk scent.

The fact that he was glib and likeable but not exceedingly intelligent or agressive made him a desirable mate for Hillaria. She would remake Billwill as a percieved leader of the pack,get him elected  and then she would  become the “power behind the Throne”. 

Her plan worked to perfection.

She only had to devour a few rivals along the way.

Survival of the fittest, you know..

Want to read more about Hillaria, or the little squirrel, or any of my other stories.???

Let me know I need the encouragement.

Hope this made you smile.

There’s enough out there to be scared and sad about, a little jocularity is O K 


Be Careful What You Wish For- Just ask King Midas

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Many years ago, in a kingdom across the sea,there  lived a very young and very foolish prince.

His name was Prince Georgie., son of King George Midas

The prince was  born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He  was  pampered and indulged by those responsible for his well being . When the Prince got into trouble, he learned that he could use his fathers wealth and  position to buy his way out of any difficulty.

The prince  soon lost touch with the realities of life, thinking that the obsequious servants that surrounded him were proof of his great importance.   

The wealthy , spoiled young prince, grew into an arrogant irresponsible young adult.  He drank alcahol, snorted cocaine, and spent much of his youth and well into his 30’s gambling and  chasing mindless debutantes.

When his father was elected president of the kingdom of Antarctica. prince Georgie realized that if he wanted to succeed his father as president , he would have to straighten out his act.

Georgie stopped doing drugs.

He joined the Royal Air Force reserves, however; he managed to evade active military duty in the ” War of the Penguins” by getting lost  on the way to the front. He arrived six months after the war ended.

He bought a professional Bobsled team with money that he borrowed from his father, then sold the team at a loss  so that he could invest in a company that manufactured ice.

The Ice Making Machine  company failed due to unfair competition from Mother Nature, and Prince Georgie was forced to move back home to live with his parents in the Royal White Ice House.

When his father lost the next election, Georgie was devastated.He was determined to stop at nothing, to avenge his fathers defeat.

Georgie heard about an evil magician who was feared and revered through out the land. His name was Roven the Wizzard.

Roven was reputed to have dark powers of deception and persuasion.

Prince Georgie decided to make a pilgrimage to the Dark Tower to see Roven the Magician . He intended to ask for a magic spell that would  help him become President of Antarctica.

” Oh Master Magician Karrell Roven, ” Said Prince Georgie, as he entered the magic tower. ” I would do anything to avenge my fathers defeat. ” He bowed low to the ground. ” Please help me to attain the rapture of victory.”

” You would do anything?” Rovens voice seemed to echo throughout the Hall.

” Oh yes master magician!” Exclaimed Prince Georgie as he prostated himself on the ground.” Make me all powerful so that I can attain the greatness which was denied to my honored father.”

The Magician looked at him for a long moment. ” So be it!,”  He exclaimed. ” Rise , young prince, rise and extend your right hand.”

The Prince did as he was told.

The magician took the Prince’s hand , held it in a tight grip, and with his right hand smashed his staff across the Prince’s knuckles .

” Yeow!!!” The Prince howled.” Ow..Ow,,Ow!!!”

” Stop whineing. Stop acting like a baby” The Magician glowered at him.”I will now cement the pact with a drop of your blood.”

“M My Blood” Georgie stammered.” Wh Why?”

” Don’t you know anything about black magic,” Grumbled Rovens,”These things are always sealed with blood.”

With that Rovens stabbed Georgies little finger with a long, very sharp pin.” Yeeeeowww!!!” Prince Georgie screamed, and he began to cry.

Rovens looked at him in disgust. ” Making you Presidential will be much harder than I thought.

                                           *      *      *        *      *

The beginning.

Chapter A

More to Come……..Soon

Enjoy, my friends , enjoy.

Have a laugh on me.

The Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back, a Parable about An Economy in Distress

Monday, November 17th, 2008

There is an old Middle Eastern tale about a poor farmer.

He lived in a  mud and straw hut , with his wife and three teenage daughters.

He owned 3 old camels .

Twice a year, at the Spring and Fall solstice,  he would pack the camels with large bags of straw and wheat.

He would kiss his wife , hug his three daughters, and then he would set off  for the 10 hour trek to the market at Dandalia.

This was a very important trip for the poor farmer, who  hoped to sell his produce and earn enough money to keep his family alive for the next 6 months.

Upon arriving in Dandalia , he would join with farmers from all over the Province . He would then set up his assigned booth, and displayting his wares.

The market would last for two full days,.The crowds were boisterous and the din was deafening. By the end of the second day, the farmer would count up his meager earnings, repack the now  empty hemp  sacks, and  tie his three camels into a caravan.

The return trip home was always much quicker, because he and Gabor, his young helper could ride the tired old camels.

One morning the farmer awoke and  found his two neighbors waiting for him in the front yard.

They offerd the farmer  bags of straw as additional produce  to bring to market.He could keep 50% of the profits for his trouble. 

The farmer was excited. With the extra money he could keep his family secure and comfortable.

The day before Spring Solstice was  cool, with a brisk gusty wind.

The farmer brought out the three old camels, and proceeded to load his bags of straw, 

He looked at the camels. They were  pretty well loaded, but he was determined to pick up the additional freight from his neighbors.

He arrived at Abmar’s yard and found 8 additional bags waiting for him. 

The camels were  loaded with much argument and posturing.

The farmer and the heavily burdened camels walked to  Fardeneen’s yard

There he found Fardeen and five additional bags of straw.

Loading the camels required a ladder, a makeshift pulley assembly and also a great deal of  discussion.

Each camel in turn staggered as the additional burdem was placed on its back. Their knees trembled, and they shifted unsteadily.

“Well,” said the farmer,” I guess I’ll be on my way.” He shook his head,” I don’t think these camels could carry another ounce of freight.”

Just then, Fardeen’s 12 year old daughter, came running out of the house. She was holding a large straw doll wrapped in a scrap of pale grey cloth. It was 2 feet tall, and had been made by weaving stalks of straw together, then dyed and clothed.

“Daddy, Daddy” she gasped, her arms wrapped around the doll’s body to hold it steady. ” You promised I could sell Esmerelda at the Solstice Market. I need the money to buy cloth for my new clothes.Mother says I am turning into a little woman, and need larger more appropriate dresses.”

He turned to the farmer,” Well ? Will you take  the doll and sell it for my Mindlee?”

The farmer looked at the three ,seemingly unsteady , overburdned camels.” I’m afraid to add any further burder to these camels. They are important to feed my family. I don’t think they can carry another thing.”

Fardeen looked at the farmer. “Come on Hamoken, share the wealth. Give my little girl a chance to get some pretty cloth for dresses. We can’t afford the cloth unless she sells the doll.”

He shook his head. ” I don’t want to disappoint  you but these camels are carrying the burden for our entire community. Let someone else share his wealth. They can’t carry any additional burden.They’ll break down.”

The farmer looked up, and spied the local tax collector approaching from the East.

Tax collector Sninndl looked at farmer Hamoken and smiled. ” I am here on the Governors business. As I’m sure you know, the irrigation project failed due to sabotage from our enemies. We are now  faced with many new poor and starving residents.

It is the Governor’s decree, that a 25% tax will be placed on all new business above last years totals. 

 New business is to buy you a  luxury .That new wealth should be shared with those citizens who have the need.”

The farmer looked distressed.” After the extra cost for a slower trip and paying for the extra market space necessary, it will not be worth anything to carry all this extra weight.”

The tax collector sneered.” The Governor has already been told of this extra tax on your load in our report to his scribes. You will have to carry the load to earn the money to pay the tax, even if it does not pay you very much.”

The farmer’s shoulders sagged. He knew he was stuck. He was being forced to do all this extra work .

He turned to Mindlee and gave her a half smile.” Come on, give me your straw man, if we can carry all these taxes for government giveaways, we can carry a little more straw. After all, straw is so lite.”

He took the straw doll, and placed it carefully on  top of the lead camel’s pile of straw filled bags.

The camel turned its head toward the farmer, and gave him a long sad look.

They heard a crack, the camels back broke, and it keeled over…dead.

The moral of the story.Too much taxation is a backbreaker