Friday, January 17, 2020

Microstory 1280: The Bat and the Boar

A bat was flying overhead, looking for some food to eat, when she noticed a boar scratching his tusks against a tree. Curious, she flew down and asked him what he was doing. “Are you trying to cut that tree down? I do not believe that you will be able to.”

“No,” the boar replied. “I’m sharpening my tusks.”

This frightened the bat, for she had just flown above, but did not see any threat. “Are you in the midst of war?” she asked. “I did not see an enemy when I was in the sky.”

The ignorance annoyed the boar. “I need to sharpen my weapons now, so that when the fighting does come—as it inevitably will—I’ll be ready,” he tried to explain. “You know what they say, if you want peace, prepare for war.” He went back to sharpening.

“That may be what they say, but that does not mean it is true,” the bat argued. “War is war, and peace is peace. I say that if you want peace, be peaceful.”

And so it was that the animals in the forest were so afraid of the boar that they attacked him together. His prediction was a self-fulling prophecy. The bat, meanwhile, was left alone, for she did not purposefully make herself appear as a threat.

This story was inspired by, and revised from, an Aesop Fable called The Wild Boar and the Fox.

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