Fables from India
Message:
Bad News Travels Fast




The fable's moral:
Ill News Travels Fast

Other ways of saying it:
Bad news travels fast
We pay more attention to what we want to hear
If it bleeds, it leads (A TV news truism)

A fable from India:


The Fox and the Villagers

A fox that had long been the dread of the village poultry yard was one day found lying breathless in a field. The report went abroad that, after all, he had been caught and killed by some one. In a moment, everybody in the village came out to see the dead fox. The village cock, with all his hens and chicks, was also there, to enjoy the sight.


The fox then got up, and, shaking off his drowsiness, said, "I ate a number of hens and chicks last night; hence I must have slumbered longer than usual."

The cock counted his hens and chicks, and found a number wanting. "Alas!" said he, "how is it I did not know of it?"

"My dear sir," said the fox, as he retreated to the wood, "it was last night I had a good meal on your hens and chicks, yet you did not know of it. A moment ago they found me lying in the field, and you knew of it at once. Ill news travels fast!"


from A HUNDRED FABLES OF LA FONTAINE, WITH PICTURES BY PERCY J. BILLINGHURST. Cropped, tint added.

The Fox and the Villagers Summary:

I don't really understand how the villagers come into play, but, more significantly, I don't love the translation of this fable's moral. The fox speaks of ill news, but for the denizens of the poultry yard, his death was good news.

The point is still apt though. We pay better attention to what we want to hear, as well as the dramatic and bloody.

Bad news travels fast and more Indian fables with morals.

More fables from India.

More stories with morals.

Storytelling to improve behavior.

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