And Wit Shall Survive…
A wealthy man decided to go on a safari in
Africa. He took his dachshund with him. One
day the dog starts chasing butterflies, and
before long he is lost. Wandering about he
notices a leopard rushing in his direction
with the obvious intention of having a dog
The dog thinks, "Boy, I'm in deep
now!" Then he noticed some bones
the ground close by, and immediately
down to chew on the bones with his
the approaching big cat. Then, just
leopard is about to leap, the dog exclaims
loudly, "Man, that was one delicious
leopard. I wonder if there are any
here." Hearing this, the leopard
his attack in mid stride, and a look
comes over him, and slinks away into
"Whew!" says the leopard,
was close. That dog nearly had me!"
Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching
the whole scene from a nearby tree,
he can put this knowledge to good use
trade it for protection from the leopard.
So he quickly follows the leopard.
dog saw him and figured that something
be up. So he starts thinking of a new
The monkey soon catches up with the
spills the beans and strikes a deal
with the leopard. The leopard is furious
at being made a fool of and says, "Here
monkey, hop on my back and see what's
to happen to that conniving canine."
When the dog saw the leopard coming
him with the monkey on its back, he
run away but sat down with his back
attackers pretending he hasn't seen
yet. And just when they got close enough
to hear, the dog said loudly, "Where's
that monkey? I can never trust him.
him off half an hour ago to bring me
leopard, and he's still not back!!"
I laughed heartily when I read the
on the internet. And realized how deep
First of all, do not be a monkey always
to take advantage of a situation. Jesus
took advantage of nobody. He speaks
serving not about controlling. Stop
a busybody whispering in the ears of
your interpretations of what your neighbor
Do not be a leopard that is, yes strong,
but dumb enough to believe everything
is said. Hearsay is a favorite weapon
the assassins of character. The apostle
gives warning against those who go
from house to house, spreading gossip
mischief. So much harm is done in Church
by those who spread rumors. In life,
the hard way never to act on hearsay.
many mistakes we do because we act
we have heard and not on what we have
Yes, be like the dog. He was able to
adapt to changing situations. He was
Life consists not in holding good cards
in playing those you hold well. Jesus
himself tells us to be "as shrewd
snakes and as innocent as doves."
Saint Augustine makes a fantastic commentary
on this. Why doves? Because "doves
in society; everywhere they fly and
together; they do not love to be alone,
delight in communion, they preserve
their sounds are the nostalgic cries
with kissing they beget their young."
And what is shrewd about the serpent?
of all, "when the serpent is weighed
down with age, and he feels the burden
his many years, he contracts and forces
into a hole, and lays aside his old
of skin, so that he may spring forth
new life. Imitate him in this, you
as the Apostle Paul says, Put you off
old man with his deeds, and put on
And then Saint Augustine explains how
serpent does not mind losing his whole
as long as his head is safe. "Have
some of you observed, on occasions
have wished to kill an adder, how to
his head, he will expose his whole
the strokes of his assailant?"
same. Risk everything but save the
save the conviction that God loves
Animal wisdom reigns!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright