The dog and its reflection in the river

The dog and its reflection in the river

The dog and its reflection in the river: Aesop , the author of the fable that we bring here today, warns us in it about several dangerous behaviors for the Man and that nevertheless he frequently undertakes. It says so (1):

"A dog with a piece of meat in its mouth passed over a bridge, and seeing its shadow in the crystal clear water, he imagined it was another dog with another piece of meat. flesh, and moved by greed to remove it, he opened his mouth and the piece he was carrying fell into the water, losing what he possessed by the greed to obtain what belonged to another.

This is often the case with those who want to steal from another they lose theirs. "

The first of these warnings is the loss of reality, which happens after times in which the realistic perception of the facts of the environment that they request from us, we substitute them by imaginations with which we dress the perceived facts. See how the dog, seeing himself reflected in the water, imagines that what he sees in it is the image of another and not his own. The dog man, the loser, interprets the facts perceived in a way that is not close to reality but away from reality.

The second is that in the face of the fact perceived and misinterpreted, the dog has a reaction to what he considers it real - there is another dog with a bigger bone, looking at him more and more restless - and he takes on that perceived reality a wrong decision, morally bad and finally ruinous: trying to get hold of the other's bone, makes him lose his . The fabulist signals us that craving what is of others and trying to acquire it with bad arts or violence turns against us.

Note well, that even with the same error of perception of the dog that looks at the reflected , the first, instead of acting moved by his greed and jumping into the water to remove the other bone that he saw bigger, could have noticed that the other dog would also look bigger and that fighting with someone bigger is not usually a great decision. That is why he could have taken another action, such as following his path. The perception of the reflected dog would have been the same - incorrect - but his decision before the fact thus perceived was not. Perhaps Prudence before the fear of a bigger dog with which to fight; perhaps Honesty, the big bone was someone else's; perhaps his lack of need: he already had a sufficient one; or all together, would have made that dog had not gone to the history of morality but neither the moral teaching that gives off their meeting, at least not by that way of the fable-.

Also note how the search at any price and with any means of something that we do not finally obtain - even in cases that are not illegal - consume our own resources, occupy our time and can put us in dangerous situations. Observe well the environmental events that affect you, value them well, and decide with the greatest wisdom that you can concentrate on the situation that you face, what your response will be. Its future will depend on it. It would have been better for Aesop's dog to keep walking along the bridge without looking out to see what was happening on the river.

See below, among the multiple existing versions of it, a modern interpretation of the fable ( 2)

"The dog and its reflection in the river

A dog wades a river carrying a tasty piece of meat in its mouth. He saw his own reflection in the river water and thought that the reflection was actually another dog that carried a piece of meat bigger than his. And wishing to take possession of the other's piece, he released his to snatch the piece from his supposed compadre.

Never covet the good of others, because you can lose what you have already acquired with your effort . "

And here, in the link that I provide below, (3) you will find a nice video that has the same moral as the second version that I have shown.

References to the fable and the different versions of it could make this postcard very long. So I'll leave you with another link with a modern comment to it. There you will find in addition to another version, some very sensible comments. (4)

Miguel Villarroya Martín , January 5, 2016/Madrid. Spain/


(1) Read on: The Instructor: Ó repertoire of history, beautiful Letters and arts, Volume 3. Number 28. April 1836. P. 108, which is transcribed between the text in quotation marks, with the spelling found there, in a book scanned by Google/Books. The Instructor was a Spanish newspaper published in London by the Casa of Ackerman y Cía, in the press of C WOOD, Poppins Court, Fleet Street , during the 30s of the 19th century.

(2) Taken from:

(3) You can see it at:, the work is due to the company

(4) You will find it at:, with a very sharp section title: Aesop speaks to man of the 21st century . The work is signed by José Vaquero .

(5) The engraving used as an image has been taken from wikipedia and is a work, as we read in that source, from Wenceslao Hollar (1607-1677).

Every day is the best day

Look at what the Hispano-Roman Lucius Anneus Seneca (4-65 AD) tells us in his Letters to Lucilius (CVIII) "One should not read that magnificent verse of Virgil that says" flees irreparable time "with the disposition of a grammarian but on the contrary, its reading should lead us to be attentive because ......

Be the best you can be

With this Eminence in the best (1), Baltasar Gracián warns us of the need to be different to stand out and be appreciated by others. Something surprisingly new, even for our time. His appreciation is that for the Prudent Man, there are only two ways: Differentiate ... or survive in the background. Be the best you can ......

Knowing Deny Not everything has to be granted

Knowing how to deny is another aphorism of Baltasar Gracián that seems to have been written for us real estate sellers, which as it will be seen, although it is of general application, is an especially useful advice for us. See here the original aphorism: Saber negar, by Baltasar Gracián Aphorism 70: Knowing how to deny Not everything is to be granted, nor ......

The Bear of H. N. Casson

OR WHY WINTER IS GOOD FOR A BEAR AND MORTAL FOR A MAN (1), is an article that a few years ago, at the beginning of the Crisis of 2007, I wrote. And now, that we are in what in Spain is a very long period of summer holidays - July and August 2016 - I thought it was appropriate ......