What if a man, seeing his reflection in the still water of an autumn lake, took it for another man? What if he waved to that man, and seeing the man wave back, got a little excited, as we all do when our social forays are repaid in kind, instead of ending in embarrassment and shame as they usually do? And what if that man, the first man, that is, the one looking in the pool, not the reflection, now, took a step into the lake so he could shake that man’s hand, the hand of a fellow human being? Would we not call that man an optimist? No, we would not. We would call him something else. But I’ll be polite and not repeat it here.
A fox wants to get some grapes. But the grapes are very high up on the side of the Empire State Building and he cannot reach them. So, he decides that maybe he doesn’t want any grapes after all. Maybe he’d rather have a burger or something. He is kidding himself, of course. He would spit on his mother for those grapes. Too bad that foxes don’t know how to use elevators.
A hare challenges a tortoise to a race. The tortoise accepts. The hare chuckles to himself, knowing that all the bookmakers will have read that fable about the tortoise and the hare and give him long odds. What the hare does not realize is that the tortoise drives a Testarossa.
A man is locked in his attic. At first, he is frightened, and a bit claustrophobic. Before long, however, he discovers there are many aspects to his attic that he had previously overlooked. He explores old trunks, spilling over with tchachkes, gimcracks and other proverbial objects implying quaint clutter. He breathes in what, at first, seemed to him to be the musty smell of dead things, but which he now realizes is the rich aroma of history. Eventually, he dies of starvation. Lesson: Do not get locked in an attic.
Two young girls take turns skipping rope. After a while, the second girl gets tired of always having to wait for the first girl to finish and she devises a crafty plan. The next time it is her turn to skip rope, she will simply never stop skipping! Then her turn arrives. Soon, the first girl begins getting agitated. She asks when the other girl is planning on stopping. Tears well up in her eyes. She goes to get her mother, but her mother is not home, her mother is off having a liaison with the new gas station attendant. She comes back, hoping to find that the other girl has gotten tired and quit, but she has not. The first girl tries many, many things, humiliating things, self-abasing things, things that you would hesitate to tell a drunken bum in a gutter to get the rope back, all for naught. Forty years later, the second girl is still skipping that rope. Her life has probably been fairly unfulfilling, but she is in terrific shape.
Imagine that you are five years older. Imagine that, over the course of those five years, you got a tattoo. What would it say? Would you be embarrassed by it? Then why did you get it in the first place, for crying out loud? I don’t see why you’d waste good money getting something you wouldn’t want to show people. You’re just a rotten spendthrift! Get your life together, already! Wow, that was cathartic. Okay, now imagine that you’re ten years older.
Three giraffes see a wallet lying in the street. I know giraffes don’t need money, but let’s pretend they do, for the sake of the fable, okay? They all try to pick it up, but they can’t get their heads close enough to the ground. Then the fox runs up and grabs the wallet, using the money to go buy some grapes! I guess the fox wins after all! Good for you, Mr. Fox!