The tale of the wolves, the donkeys and the sheep
A log time ago, in a country far away placed at the center of the Mediterranean Sea, there were three different animal breeds: the wolves, the donkeys and the sheep. The sheep were the majority, 60 million docile and obedient specimens always in search of a shepherd to entrust with the administration of the entire national herd. Differently than the sheep, the wolves were a puny minority that just wanted to devour, consume, exploit the sheep and the country resources to eternally secure the status of superior beasts.
During the many decades following the declaration of the Republic of the Sheep, the wolves had been deadly effective in executing their life mission: the sheep, docile and obedient as ever, lived, produced and begot, almost unaware of the fact that the few beasts with the sharp fangs satisfied their hunger by consuming anything they put their eyes on. Little by little, the bottomless hunger of the wolves had devoured resources, fields, green grass, it had even taken the place of the shepherds that had the task of making the fatally calm life of the sheep go on.
Not all the wolves had blood in their eyes, and with time some of the eager dogs that had enslaved the sheep – a few specimens usually loathed by their peers – had persuaded themselves of the need to guarantee what the majority of the animals was asking: fresh grass, a place where to live and let a family grow without the risk of being slaughtered by savage beasts waiting near the pallet.
Then suddenly, within a few months, life conditions in the far away country had worsened as never before: the sheep were finding fewer and fewer fields where to herd and fewer and fewer fresh grass to nibble, until the wolves started to fear for their survival: the devastation brought to the country, its resources and its future was such – the wolves thought – that the sheep could have abruptly waken up from their natural gentle temper and realize the true consequences of the beasts with the sharp fangs existence.
Unable, because of the clear numerical disproportion, to devour all the sheep that had dared to stand up and challenge their quiet domination, the wolves came up with an idea: to elect, in front of the big screens the sheep watched mesmerized during the most part of their free hours, a new animal that would have had the task of acting as the shepherd and let the sheep continue their placid, simple life unaware of the cruel reality of things and their true place in the country’s food pyramid.
Il Megaleader by Tiziano Toniutti. The revenge of the sheep.
The donkeys were the perfect alibi for the wolves: while the ravenous beasts reorganized themselves behind the curtains and prepared new forays over lands, food and meat of the ruminant population, the donkeys only had to repeat again and again senseless words (“growth”, “austerity”, “europe”), manage resources with simple arithmetic operations of addition and subtraction (however without touching the resources the wolves expected to be their exclusive property) and more generally they had to continue to assure the sheep on the fact that soon everything would have been better, the fields would have bloomed again and the green grass would have returned in every corner of the unlucky and ravaged country.
But the wolves had been too much optimistic about the recovery capabilities of the country devastated by decades of pillages: notwithstanding the donkeys performed perfectly their task of soporific agents, during the months the situation did nothing but worsen, worsen and worsen again. The grass didn’t regrow, the fields were impracticable and not even the big mesmerizing screens were able to hold the dissatisfaction and the loss of faith that were snaking in the once-happy and unaware population of the sheep.
The wolves trembled, the hollow words of the donkeys didn’t charm anyone anymore and the number of the sheep eager to know the truth was constantly growing. Some of these sheep, more clever than the others but without the bloodthirsty desire for massacre and foray inherent in the wolves, had started to point at the beasts with the sharp fangs as the main culprits of the country disaster. Feeling their advantages as superior animals threatened, the wolves – masked as mild shepherds loyal to the recovery mission seemingly carried forward by the donkeys – undertook an unprecedented defamation campaign against the few sheep that were showing the courage to revolt against their dominion.
“That sheep want to be the Megaleader!“, yelled the masked wolves from the big screens that didn’t mesmerized anyone anymore, “that enemy of politics (the nickname the wolves liked for themselves more) doesn’t think about the Good of the Great National Herd!” and so on in a series of screams more and more cloudy, less and less important, empty like the codewords the donkeys were still braying unheard. The desire to know the truth and change things had spread like a cancer, waking up a critical mass of sheep finally aware of the existence of the wolves and their grave responsibilities.
During the last period of their reign of blood (sheep’s blood), the beasts with the sharp fangs had tried in every way to contain the advancing of the sheep tired of being just cannon fodder. But it had been all useless, because during the day of the Great Election of the Shepherds Government the clever sheep had collected almost a quarter of the vote from the national herd. By joining their forces with those of few wolves willing to work for the good of the country (“Left extremists” had been the last hopeless insult barked by the bests with the sharp fangs), the sheep had won the relative majority giving life to a Government of Shepherds that would have ploughed the fields and make the grass grow again where there were only concrete, desolation and devastation before.
But that’s another story…