Painting of the self-righteous tyrannical wolf from the fable of The Wolfe & the Sheep. Painted by Juan Artola Miranda.

The Wolf & the Lamb (Aesop & Jean de La Fontaine)

The Wolf and the Lamb is a dark fable originally written by Aesop (4th or 6th century BCE), then later by Jean de la Fontaine (17th-century AD), and finally by Juan Artola Miranda (now).

Eli Siegel, a renowned poet, called it one of the “cruellest instances of literature,” saying, “The unconscious tendency of making our wants the same as universal justice is the ugliest adjunct of the heart of man.”

Slashes made by an enraged barbarian fabulist.

A long time ago, on the banks of a tranquil stream, a thirsty little lamb was taking a drink. Further upstream, a hungry wolf also came to have a drink, his eyes fixed on the innocent lamb.

The wolf was hungry, and the lamb looked good to him, but to kill an innocent lamb would be immoral, and he would not do it. Instead, he called to the lamb, “How dare you muddy my drinking water. You’re making it unfit for anyone to drink!”

The trembling lamb replied, “Oh, sir, I mean no offense. But considering the flow of the stream, from you to me. It’s impossible for me to disturb your drinking water.”

The wolf, frustrated by the lamb’s insolence, put forth another accusation. “Last year,” he growled, “you spread rumours of me to the other sheep, causing them to flee whenever I approach.”

“But sir,” the innocent lamb bleated, “I was not even born then.”

With his hunger gnawing at his belly, the wolf waved away the lamb’s excuse, “It must have been your father then, and so you bear the guilt as well.”

And with that, the wolf pounced righteously upon the lamb.

A horrible end. I cannot promise any different in the next one, a fable about the North Wind and the Sun.

Juan Artola Miranda

I am Juan Artola Miranda, a fabulist living in the Mexican Caribbean. My friends know me by the name of my father's father, but that name grew into something bigger, my writing reaching tens of millions of readers. It was too strong for me to control. Artola Miranda is the name of my mother's mother. It's a better name for a fabulist.

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