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Porcupine's Quill
Nov. 21, 2010

The Many-Headed Dragon -- A Fable for Our Times

by Arshad M Khan

Once upon a time there was a land, unconquered, where the people were
free, and life easy to live.  Everywhere there was happiness.  In this land
appeared a dragon with many heads but it was not very large.  In fact, it was
small, friendly and quite kind to the people.  It employed them to look after it,
feed it, clean up after it, and it paid them well.  The people prospered and so
did the dragon becoming larger and larger, when, without the people
realizing it until too late, it had grown into a monster.  Now nothing seemed
to satisfy it.  No matter how hard the people worked, it wanted more for
itself.  In its uncontrollable, unconscionable greed it paid them less and less
while it ate more and more .... growing ever larger.

The people sought a champion to fight the dragon for their interests and
they found one who convinced them he could 'feel their pain'.  His big nose
was an additional asset for they had heard of Cyrano de Bergerac, his huge
nose, his wondrous deeds and phenomenal loyalty.  But stories don't
translate into reality -- they were wrong.   Big nose tried, had a minor
skirmish with a head called Insurance and took a stab at one named
Healthcare.  But they struck back and he soon lay down alongside the
dragon stroking it and feeding it, and becoming really chummy with the
Bankster head.  Bankster fed him especially well and he became sleek, then
fat, then fatter, and had a heart attack.

The next champion promptly proclaimed he was the dragon's friend and the
dragon was the people's friend -- just misunderstood and not fed enough.  
He convinced the people the dragon would guard them, save them and feed
them.  But it was not to be.  The dragon ate so much, it got indigestion,
belched, blew and burned them, covering them with its toxic assets.

The people were fed up.  They looked for something different and found a
Black Knight in shining armor -- in fairy stories the Black Knight always
comes to the rescue -- armor whiter than his teeth, which he showed often
for he smiled frequently.  He was blacker than black, his armor whiter than
dazzling silver white, and he charged into the White House, a Black and
White Knight ready, willing and able.  But the dragon cast a spell, and he was
soon calling it savvy.  The dragon talked to him and he talked to it.  He talked
and he talked, and he is talking today ... and every time he does, the dragon
takes another chunky bite out of the people.  No this fairy story or fable or,
what you will, does not have a happy end.  No, it has no end at all.

Moral:  If you can't beat the dragon, join it.