One day, as Dog was walking around his big green yard, a Butterfly landed on his nose.
“Hello friend,” Dog said. “How are you today?”
Butterfly fluttered her wings nervously. “Hello. I am not feeling so well today. My friends and I must travel a great distance and we fear the Great Owl looming nearby. Will you help us?”
As Butterfly flew from Dog’s nose, Dog saw an Owl perched atop the fence post nearby. Owl was a terrifying figure, particularly for a Butterfly. Dog, however, thought Owl was an amusing sight to behold.
Dog leapt across the green yard to Owl.
“Hello Dog,” said the Owl, looking down at the four-legged creature inquisitively. “How may I be of assistance?”
Dog marveled at Owl’s cool demeanor and great intelligence. Dog noticed Owl’s beak glinting in the sunlight. It appeared very sharp.
“Hello Great Owl,” smiled Dog. “My friend, Butterfly, is deeply concerned. She and her friends are worried that you will hurt them as they undertake a great travel. Are you aware of this?”
Owl narrowed his eyes playfully at Dog. “Yes, I am aware, but must I not eat? Are they not a good food source for me? What would you have me do?”
Dog, amassing as much wit as possible, looked down, then up, and then, speaking carefully so as not to insult Owl’s great intelligence, began, “Good Owl, you are truly wise and fearsome. We know that you fulfill a great role in the world. Your spirit is high and far reaching. I am just a humble dog. I serve my master and complete the work he has assigned me. The influence of my life is of little evidence, but I live a joyful life full of meaning. Allow me to ask, Wise Owl: Don’t you know there are creatures more deserving of your appetite? There are Rats causing a lot of harm around here and my master wants me to get rid of them. I’m sure they would be far tastier for you than Butterflies.”
Dog flashed Owl a look of insight. Owl grinned with pleasure.
“I see you know my kind,” said Owl. “Very well. You have my word: I will leave these poor Butterflies alone. Now, if you would be so kind, please show me where these delicious Rats are.”
Dog let out a yip and ran over to the side of his master’s house where he had seen Rats scurrying just a day before. Owl flew over to a nearby perch and scoured the ground with his impeccable vision as dog flushed the Rats out.
“There!” said Dog. “Do you see them?”
Without hesitation, Owl flew in and caught his meal.
Owl looked at Dog with affection. With a nod and a hoot, he said, “Thank you, Dog,” and then flew away to enjoy his fresh catch.
Butterfly rejoined Dog, perching sweetly upon his nose, and chimed, “Hurray! Good work, Dog! We would not have thought to approach Owl with that idea. You have saved us. Thank you!”
Dog yipped back joyfully, “You are welcome, Butterfly! Have a safe travel!”
Dog then heard his master call for him to come inside, where a warm bed and good meal awaited.
The purpose of wisdom is to protect the vulnerable from the powerful.