There was once a wolf, hungry and weak,
who encountered a dog, fat and sleek.
The dog looked at the wolf and said:
“With such a life, you’ll soon be dead.
Unless you work for a human friend,
you’ll soon come to a disastrous end.
Why not work for food as I do,
so your meals will not be so few?”
The wolf said: “It seems nice, what you’ve got.
If only I could a good work spot.”
The dog said, “Follow me to my master.
You’ll work with me and get food faster.”
So the wolf followed the dog down
the pleasant road that led to town.
But as they were walking along,
the wolf saw something that seemed wrong.
The wolf said: “Why is the hair so thin
on your neck that I can see your skin?”
And the dog said: “Don’t worry about that.
It’s just that my neck is a little fat,
and when they put on my collar and chain
at night there’s a little tightness and pain.
But I’m sure you’ll soon get used to it,
for you the collar will be a good fit.”
“Is that right?” the wary wolf asked.
But the dog’s life had been unmasked;
and the wolf departed and walked away,
and returned to hunting in his own way.
It’s better to hunger, unrestrained,
Than to be well fed and tightly chained.
(written c. January 2013)