by me, Daxson Hale.
An industrious and very rich young man lived in a large city. One day he was walking to the other side of the city to make a business transaction. He walked through the busy streets and through the marketplace. Amid the jostling of the crowd, a young boy snatched the man’s wallet from his coat pocket. The man shouted and ran after the boy. He chased the boy into increasingly narrow streets and winding abandoned alleys and, being a fit man, caught up to him, grabbed him by the back of his shirt and spun him around. He took back his wallet, raised his hand and began to beat the boy for his crime.
”Please stop!” said the boy, “please sir, let me go!”
”You stole, boy, and that is a crime. Why would I let you go? I shall report you to the authorities at once.”
“No, please, sir! I can help you! These streets are dangerous, but I know them better than anyone. I can help you when you find yourself in trouble!”
This amused the man, who recalled Aesop’s tale of the lion and the mouse. The lion, of course, had agreed not to eat the mouse because the mouse promised to be of help in the future; the mouse had kept his promise and came to the aid of the lion when he needed it most.
The rich man had his wallet back, after all, so he agreed and released the boy, who quickly ran down the alley and disappeared from sight.
The man had not walked fifty steps when, from around a corner, appeared a band of ruffians, six or seven of them walking towards him. They blocked his path. The man saw no way to escape. He realized he needed the help of the boy now, just minutes after the deal had been made. He cried out when the boy appeared! But the boy stepped between him and the band of men, pointed at the young rich man and said, “That’s him! That’s the man who beat me!”
The rich man was attacked, beaten severely, robbed again of his wallet, and tied up. The boy stood over him and said, “Thought you could trust a pickpocket, did you?” And the band of men and the boy walked away, leaving him tied up, lying on the ground in a dark alley.
The man evaluated his situation and found it to be rather uncomfortable. He reflected for several hours and into the evening on the events of the day and realized it had been quite silly of him to have put such trust in the ancient Greek story. This was, after all, the real world, and the fable told the tale of talking animals, something he had never yet witnessed in nature. What a fool he’d been.
And as he thought this, a small grey mouse began to gnaw at the ropes binding him, and within minutes the man was free, and he escaped into the night a smarter man.