The Beaver and the Testicles
This fable was originally called “The Beaver and His Testicles”, however, in putting the fable into a modern context, it made more sense to separate the beaver and the testicles at the outset. In our telling of this fable the beaver is a she, not a he. The testicles belong to our protagonist.
We will take the unusual step of presenting the “original” fable, and then follow it with the modern version. We do this because we crave delicious irony, and because the “original” form is so obtuse, and so irrelevant to our time that the reader will likely be scratching their head after reading it.
The Beaver and His Testicles
Gibbs 450, Phaedrus App. 22, Perry 550
It is said that when the beaver is being chased by dogs and realizes that he cannot outrun them, he bites off his testicles, since he knows this is what he is being hunted for. I suppose there is some kind of superhuman understanding that prompts the beaver to act this way, for as soon as the hunter lays his hands on that magical medicine, he abandons the chase and calls off his dogs.
The Moral to the Story: If only people would take the same approach and agree to be deprived of their possessions in order to live lives free from danger; no one, after all, would set a trap for someone already stripped to the skin.
From Aesop’s Fables, A new translation by Laura Gibbs” Oxford World’s Classics 2002
The Beaver and the Testicles
by Rex Latchford, July, 2011
Nick is a handsome young man. Not yet graduated from high school, but this being in the present day, the mating game is well advanced if not near conclusion for most participants at that point in their time. Gone are the days of putting anything off; not hard partying, and certainly not the urge to reproduce. This, of course, applying to males and females alike.
Nick is a privileged young man. His father is in rubber. It’s a very profitable business. So much so that Nick’s first car was a Porche. Nick later downgraded to an Audi when people started to wonder if Nick was a drug dealer. His parents felt it was important for people to understand that his fortune is coming from hardworking forebears rather than illicit activities. After all, wouldn’t a high-quality future mate for Nick want to be certain from the start that his monetary value and status are superior?
Nick has an older brother, Anthony. Anthony is five years older than Nick. After meeting many debutantes, who were all beautiful, Anthony met a girl name Catherine. She was, without doubt, the most beautiful and sexy of the girls he had met. He had been fully entranced by her. Catherine seemed to know exactly what to do, and Anthony had been on cloud nine, happy and in love as a man could be. Anthony and Catherine married, and soon, Catherine was pregnant. Nine months later, Anthony and Catherine became proud parents, and Anthony was, perhaps, happier than ever.
Catherine’s mood changed after the birth of the couple’s baby daughter. At first, Anthony and his family worried it was postpartum depression, but the mood continued, and wasn’t exactly depression. There was no sex. Catherine fought with Anthony without cease. The conflict grew and grew, and Anthony became frustrated. As if waiting for such moments, Catherine expertly manipulated Anthony into rages that would sometimes result in violence. At that point, Catherine would suddenly become calm, pick up the phone, and dial 911. After one or two of these incidents, the resulting arrests and incarcerations, a new family member became visible. It was Catherine’s lawyer, who, it turned out, had been there all along. Divorce was filed for.
Catherine was awarded exclusive custody of the daughter, as well as a handsome judgment for alimony and child support. She moved to a new place known for its beaches and lavish parties. Anthony, subject to an order of protection forbidding him from coming within 100 miles of Catherine or her new, luxurious home, never saw her again (except for the occasional party photo in the celebrity magazines).
Nick had observed all of this, and was determined that what had happened to Anthony would not happen to him. He started driving older economy cars with imperfect paint jobs. He dressed down. He avoided the latest in consumer electronics, giant flat-screen TV’s, and smart-phones. Nick underwent a vasectomy, and was careful not to be tempted into hasty marriage. At first, Nick still had plenty of beautiful and sexy women who would have him as their suitor, if only for his looks. However, after time passed, the beauty and ambition of the women pursuing Nick began to decline. Eventually, the cultured, powdered, and manicured debutantes found new targets. Word of Nick’s vasectomy had gotten out, something Nick had done nothing to prevent. Nick was left with the women who were simply and honestly looking for a good time, with no expectations or sense of entitlement. Many of those women had problems with drugs and alcohol. But, one day Nick found a good-time woman who shared his interests and was clean. They married. Nick had his vasectomy operation reversed. Before long, the couple had two beautiful children and lived happily ever after, living in comfort and tempered luxury, not drawing the attention of scamsters and hungry attack lawyers.