Wolf and Dog Address the Sheep
Once upon a time, two lost sheep wandered onto an isolated ridge with only two narrow pathways down; one path lead to the dog, the other to the wolf.
The dog said, “Get down from there, you fools! See where wandering out of my sight gets you? Come down quick so I can chase you safe back home, and maybe I won’t nip you much! Don’t you idiots know anything? There’s a wolf out there!”
The wolf said, “How wonderful to see you, my friends! I’m a great fan of you sheep; I’ve always loved you, and I always will. Please leave that mean old dog behind and come to my cave, where I shall prepare a feast with you two as the guests of honor.”
The two sheep wondered about what to do. “For we are ignorant sheep,” said one, “so what do we know about the world?”
“Nothing at all,” admitted the second sheep. “But where we are ignorant, perhaps the dog and the wolf are wise.”
The first sheep said, “Then the question is, which one do we trust?”
The second sheep said, “I vote for the dog. You could tell by the tone of his voice that he was utterly sincere. He meant every word that he said.”
“True,” said the first sheep, “but then again, the same could be said of the wolf.”
“You are quite right,” said the second sheep. “Therefore I shall go to the wolf.”
“You are quite right,” replied the first sheep. “Therefore I shall go to the dog.”
Thus the two sheep, by mutual deference, exchanged fates.
Both were eaten, of course; the second sheep right away, by the wolf; and the first sheep months later, by the shepherd and the dog.
Moral: Wolf and dog are equally sincere.
Commentary on the Underfable:
The poor sheep have two false friends; but at least they're polite to each other.