An Ass and a Fox had become close comrades and were constantly in each other’s company. While the Ass cropped a fresh bit of greens, the Fox would devour a chicken from the neighbouring farmyard or a bit of cheese filched from the dairy.
One day the pair met a Lion unexpectedly. The Ass was very frightened, but the Fox calmed his fears, saying, “I will talk to him.” The Fox walked boldly up to the Lion. “Your highness,” he said in an undertone, so the Ass could not hear him, “I’ve got a fine scheme in my head. If you promise not to hurt me, I will lead that foolish creature yonder into a pit where he can’t get out, and you can feast at your pleasure.”
The Lion agreed and the Fox returned to the Ass. “I made him promise not to hurt us,” said the Fox. “But come! I know a good place to hide till he is gone.” The Fox led the Ass into a deep pit. But when the Lion saw that the Ass was his for the taking, he, first of all, struck down the traitor Fox – Aesop.
Says the Bible in Proverbs 26:27, “If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will crush you instead.” This is what the word of God teaches, yet many of us often are caught up in thinking up vile schemes against our neighbour – failing to realise, of course, that in doing so, we plan our own downfalls as well. Like physics teaches us, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Today’s anecdote has a lot to teach us about human beings – about our own selves – and it is this: if we do not allow God’s goodness to truly reign in our hearts, we could, out of fear, envy, jealousy, pain, or sheer callousness, become modern-day Judases who betray others, maybe not even for material gain or some form of advancement, but merely out of spite! Such vile wickedness, though, does not go unnoticed – or unpunished – by God!
As we do unto others, so shall it be done unto us – just as happened to the cunning fox, in today’s anecdote, which got its just deserts. One thing is certain: traitors may, themselves, expect treachery as their reward! Let us love and live in love. Let us be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers in earnest. Let us look out for one another so, together, we can grow in God and be our best for Him.
“DOVERYAI, NO PROVERYAI – TRUST, BUT VERIFY” – Russian Proverb