The Sheep and the Farmer – A Fable

by John Dadlez,

parableofsheepThere was once a group of sheep that lived wild and free. They roamed the countryside, went where they wished, ate the food provided by God, and raised their children. But these sheep were stupid and began to whine about their situation.

“How hard it is to find food every day,” they said. “Wouldn’t life be easier if we didn’t live out in the open, exposed to the hot sun, and the cold rain.” And, “Oh! How horrible is our life that we must protect ourselves from the wild animals!”

One day a farmer was returning from market and happened to pass the sheep on his way home. Hearing them complain he smiled at the sheep and said, “Come home with me and I will make your life as easy and carefree as you’d like. I’ll provide you with all the food you can eat. You’ll grow big and fat. You won’t be out in the heat or cold, I will give you shelter, and my dogs will protect you and your young ones from any wild animals that might do you harm.

The sheep thought it sounded marvelous and took the farmer up on his offer. They all followed him to the farm. There they lived as the farmer described, growing fat and lazy under his care.

Some of the sheep were unhappy and longed for the life they had sacrificed, but they were quickly shouted down by the others who were content to live under the farmer’s care. “Besides,” they said, “you will never get past the farmer’s dogs that are here to protect us.”

Then one day the farmer came and separated all of the older sheep from the young, loaded the older sheep on a truck and took them off to be slaughtered.

The young sheep were sad, but soon forgot their parents. They went back to living life on the farm, the only life they ever knew.


‘The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.’

W. E. B. Du Bois

‘Free people, remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty, but it is never recovered if it is once lost.’

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The bourgeois prefers comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to the deathly inner consuming fire.’

Hermann Hesse

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