Published Humanitas, Volume XXI, Nos. 1 and 2, 2008

In Aesop’s fable of the Wolf and Lamb,1 instead of simply seizing and devouring a lamb that has wandered from the flock, the wolf challenges him with a series of false accusations, looking for a way to justify making a meal of him. The lamb is able to prove that each of the charges the wolf makes against him is unjustified: he has not, and in fact could not have, insulted the wolf a year earlier, eaten from the wolf’s field, or drunk from the wolf’s fountain since he is less than a year old and still gets all his nourishment from his mother. But although the lamb successfully proves his innocence, at the end of the fable the wolf devours the lamb anyhow, saying “You are not going to make this wolf go without his dinner, even if you are able to easily refute every one of my charges!” In this fable, then, power, wickedness and malice triumph over weakness, innocence and honesty.

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