A Fable

Once upon a time there was a man who lived in a quiet village with a goat for company. However the two were great friends and the whole village was aware of their friendship and generous with their company.

One day two strangers rode into their village and demanded a place to stay for the night. The villagers gladly suggested the home of the man and his goat. It was on the edge of the village and there was plenty of grazing for the horses. The men duly arrived at the man’s house. Found the man chopping wood with an axe behind his small house and explained their need. They agreed a price for their stay but said the goat had to leave and spend the night outside. The man explained his goat would be eaten as he had no guard dog but they would not be swayed. The man and his goat slept outside together while the men enjoyed the comforts of his house. In the morning they refused to pay and said the man had a house and a goat, what need did he have of their coin. The man insisted and the horsemen continued to decline and rode away. The goat snickered, ran after them and into their path. The horses reared. The men fell to the ground and their horses ran away. With the goat before them and the man behind, their choice to do the right thing became clearer once they had been reduced from the lofty heights of riding their mounts. Once on ground level without accoutrements the choice was plainer. They no longer looked down upon the man but were his equal and looked into his eyes. The goat stood side on, ready to unleash a hoof if necessary, so they faced the man and apologised.

Circumstances had changed, their view on life had changed. They had a choice when feeling powerful and took the road that was morally unsound. Once on foot, equal to the man, it was more difficult to hold on to their power when the trappings were absent. Power corrupts. The next village may have held a more damnable offence as they had got away with the first one. They were only doing what men in power do when sat on a “horse”. But there will always be a goat and a man to reckon with. The goat that trips you up and reminds you of your path in life and your moral compass. And the black clad man of your past that shows and reminds you of your past choices. Always you are betwixt and between.

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