The Pup and the Chick


A photo of Mishelle ShepardOur pup Papi hated lettuce, until we started feeding it to the chicks. Suddenly, it seems to be among his favorite snacks, when he can steal it from them. In the kitchen he still doesn’t like it. This makes me consider once again the nature of our natures, and I’m reminded of the parable about the frog and the scorpion.

I’ve always hated this tale, because while I feel I’m perpetually playing the frog, others mistake me often for the scorpion. Being convinced that I am the frog is not because I have delusions that we are not all self-interested beings. I know, for better or worse, it is what has allowed us to thrive – the dog, as much as the frog, or the man, or the plant. I know I’m the frog because I have always been gullible, the scurvy of the optimist.  I’ve always been over-ready to allow words or appearances to supersede actions and sometimes even common sense. I think I’m not the only one.

Black lab puppy in the chicken house

So, I’ve decided to update the frog and scorpion tale to suit my own life better. The frog will be a chick and the scorpion, a black lab pup. Instead of a trip across the river, the sweet and friendly lab pup begs the chick to play his provocative but seemingly innocent chasing game through the meadow. At long last his charming pants convince them it’s a beautiful day and he clearly means no harm.

That black lab, just look at that face, how could he possibly be the scorpion? Has he not so far obeyed orders, sometimes under great pressure to indulge his instincts? But just the flap of a wing and he is on high alert. It’s so very lucky for those chicks that he is well-supervised now, under constant surveillance. If only they knew, those poor little chicks, how their natural moves provoke him. He cannot help that at all. Any more than they can. He’s still playing the patient watch dog, for now.  I know he is surely not capable of strategically planning his next move, but just you wait, one of these times that seemingly innocent little flap will provoke a tragic end to their already shortly numbered days in the meadow.

The moral of my new twist to the story? A seemingly careless little misstep or two made out of innocence or ignorance are still missteps with fatal potential.

5/6/2010 1:25:12 PM

Love your comments Dave, thanks so much! Luckily, the pup is still doing great. I totally agree with you about the diseases and syndromes, and this "trapped" feeling, it's really all in our heads. It's so much easier to break free from it than people realize, I believe.

Nebraska Dave
5/4/2010 12:55:51 PM

Mishelle, it is so true that the DNA that’s a part of a species is difficult to totally over come with discipline. People are very similar in nature. We all are born with certain things that are difficult to over come with discipline but civilization requires that we constantly subdue the inner yearning to strangle that guy that cut us off in traffic. As in animal instinct, humans are programmed with fight or flight reactions. However the work environment doesn’t give us the liberty to hit the boss when being chewed out nor can we run but instead have to endure the stress of the moment. I personally believe this scenario is the cause of many of our so called diseases or syndromes. We just want to run away from it all but can’t because we feel trapped into the situation we find ourselves in. There is always a choice and we have been hearing many of the Grit bloggers are taking that scary but freeing choice of giving up the busy life and moving toward a similar life style. I certainly hope that your lab doesn’t cross the line and give up the lettuce for a little chicken in his diet. Thanks for your version of the scorpion and the frog.

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters