I bet you’ve heard of this Macedonian guy called Aesop, who is reported to have lived in the Greek city of Thrace sometime around 650BC. You haven’t? No sweat. That’s why you’re here on my page, to be enlightened. Stick around and you won’t need light bulbs at home any more. Think what that’ll do to your pocket book. Let’s face it, this no time for me to be modest. You’re indeed fortunate to be here. You’re a member of my own Schindler’s List and I’m here to lead you out into the light.

First you need to get acquainted with Aesop by learning to pronounce his name correctly. It’s pronounced ‘eyesore’. The P is silent and you have to roll the ‘o’ in your mouth so it sounds like there’s an ‘r’ in there somewhere. That’s how the ancient Macedonians, including his pappy and momma, called him. Eyesore, in adulthood, had thick, dark, matted, curly hair and if he hadn’t had this bushy beard you’d mistake him to be gay. All curly haired Greeks were gay then. Must have been all those public baths and all, who knows, don’t look at me, I’m not Greek. I’m a Bengal Tigah, Grrrragh, Grrr!

Anyway, Eyesore grew up to be a compiler of fables, otherwise known as a fabulist, from which the word ‘fabulous’ was coined. He’d record all the tales and folk lore of the day and in time, his ‘diary’ snowballed and grew into what we now know as ‘Aesop’s Fables’.

You’ve no doubt read one fable titled ‘The crafty wolf who loved sheep and shepherds in a pie’. It’s OK if you haven’t. That’s what my page is for. To get ta know stuff your Pappy and Momma didn’t bother to tell you. Besides, it’s the only fable that made me laf. It goes like this…..

Once upon a time, in the tiny hamlet of Schmuckus in Crete, there lived a shepherd boy named Ari who earned a living herding sheep. He couldn’t yodel, thank Zeus, since he didn’t have any goats to herd and you can yodel only if you herd goats. I heard a Dame say that to me once. By the by, Eyesore had a habit of not naming any of his characters. A boy was just that- ‘the shepherd boy’. What can I say? Eyesore didn’t have a clue about writing like I do. So I went ahead and named him Ari. This is my page. I can name him Tinglitoo if I want.

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(Image: Courtesy diamondstylz.com)

Now Ari was a cute curly haired Greek boy and almost certainly gay. He hadn’t yet found the necessity to get himself a hunky Cretan boyfriend. The rams in his herd kept him satiated. I fully understand. If you happen to be standing near a ram, never bend over.

Ari had another issue for which I would have advised him to seek therapy, if he had been alive. He loved pranking. Till it got real serious and one day, did him in. I swear this is what happened. He was on a grassy knoll (of the type Kennedy got shot from) with his sheep and he was bored to death. He decided to liven things up a bit. So he cried,”Help! Wolf! Help!” The folk at Schmuckus heard and a posse scrambled to his aid with pitchforks, only to find that Ari was pulling a fast one. There was no wolf.

He repeated his ruse again the next day and this time, the folk who’d again rushed to help were outraged,” What the πορνεύω did you shout ‘wolf’ for?” they demanded. (‘πορνεύω’ is Greek for f–k).

“Just bored and havin’ myself some fun”, Ari sniggered.

That evening if you happened to visit Schmuckus, you’d have found one bunch of sourpusses in the pub, grumbling and gnashing their teeth, swearing to kick the kid’s butt the next time they set eyes on him.

The third evening, Ari was with his herd, debating whether to scream ‘wolf’ once again when Adolf, the wolf, pounced on him. He screamed at the top of his voice, “Wolf! Wolf!” but no one came to rescue him this time. The town might have been named Schmuckus but that doesn’t mean the folk were schmucks. They disregarded his wails thinking he was pulling a fast one again.

Meanwhile, Adolf rounded up the sheep and ate them one by one. Boy, was he hungwy. Just when Ari thought he was beginning ta have the Stockholm Syndrome and raised himself to plant a kiss on Adolf, he got eaten too.

Moral of the story?

If you’re a wolf, you’ll do well to wait till the third time and it’ll be a piece of cake, sorry, shepherd’s pie.

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Copyright © by Achyut Dutt. All rights reserved.