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The Owl and the Chipmunk

Category:  |  Author: Laura Ellis  |  No Comments

It was that time of the year, when all the living creatures in the forest were busy preparing for winter. The last few winters had been really harsh so everyone was under pressure to make provisions.

The far west corner of the forest was inhabited by Henry the Owl’s clan. When the news about a race between clans spread, Henry the Owl summoned his council to plan on how to win the race.

“The first clan to get to the edge of the city wins a sac of magic grains”, said the Owl. “If we get those grains, we will have the provisions we need for many winters to come. So what we have to do is to find the fastest way to get there”.

“I think I should be there,” said the Squirrel. “I’m in charge of moving the provisions around…so I should go.”

“Me too”, said the Fox. “I’m clever and I can help us get out of any trouble we might come across.”

They quickly decided that they would take a bus so that the entire council could be part of the race.

“Who should drive the bus?” asked the Owl.

“The Chipmunk” said the Fox. “He is smart, fast on his feet, and always makes the best out of what’s around him”.

“But he can’t talk!” said the Owl.

“He doesn’t need to talk,” said the Fox. “We will be there, and we will make all the decisions for him.” And that sealed the deal. They convoked the Chipmunk, informed him of his task, and reminded him that the future of the clan rested on his tiny shoulders.

On the day of the trip, everyone was very excited. They got up early and left right on time. The Chipmunk was hardly done with the first leg of the journey when the Owl said, “Petrol! We need to buy petrol for the trip. If we run out we will never make it on time”.

So the Owl told the Chipmunk to take a detour. It took them quite a while to find a petrol station, but in the end, they were back on track. Two or three more times they detoured to get food and water, based on a suggestion from the Fox.

Later in the journey, the Squirrel insisted she knew a short cut. When they got to it they found that the road had been closed off. Later on in the trip they passed a petrol station and, a little while later, a supermarket. But they had filled up already with petrol and food! They were able to gain back some time when the Chipmunk chose a good route. Unfortunately, they still arrived too late to win the prize. Everyone was sad on the way back home.

Two days later, the Owl called the council to find a suitable punishment for the Chipmunk for wasting time with his poor planning. When the Chipmunk was accused of not taking his role seriously, he took out of his pocket a drawing of the trip! It was all laid out…the petrol station on the main road, the supermarket, planned stops for rest, even the closed shortcut and alternative routes if the traffic got too bad. The paper was dated 3 days before the journey. They couldn’t believe their eyes!

“Why didn’t you share this with us?” asked the Owl. The Chipmunk hung his head and shrugged his shoulders. The poor chap didn’t want to say that nobody asked him.

One never knows if the decision chosen is going to get the expected outcome. All decisions carry a level of uncertainty. Still, if you were the Chipmunk, what would you do differently? How about if you were the Owl, or the Fox or the Squirrel? Do these circumstances seem familiar to you? What is your takeaway from this fable?


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