A WOLF, passing by, saw some Shepherds in a hut eating a haunch of mutton for their dinner. Approaching them, he said, “What a clamor you would raise if I were to do as you are doing!”

This very short fable by Aesop was oddly disturbing, perhaps because in the Christian tradition the shepherd is portrayed as the protector of sheep rather than their killers and exploiters. Jesus likens himself to “the good shepherd” who willing would lay down his life for his sheep. In the end, though, if you are a sheep you are mutton, and it doesn’t make much difference whether you are slow cooked and served on a plate or torn to bits by a wolf. Where is the compassion in this?

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