Bernardo Perez Salazar
In Fableland three rebel forces were found up in
arms, confronting each other and society in a dirty war. The rebels sought
to gain legitimacy by taking advantage of government incompetence.The public
was discontent. A fable of Iriarte describes the scene well.
There was a jackass whose owner only fed him
“Here, this will satisfy you."
He said it so many times, that one day
the donkey got annoyed and replied, “I take
whatever you want to give me, unjust master
But do you think straw is all I like?
Give me grain, and you’ll see I eat that faster.”
The government put on a farce they called peace
talks with the rebels. But it was all delays, ceremonies, and arrogant
remarks. So, the leader of one of the rebel factions challenged the government
and the other rebel forces: he said they would lay down their arms before
the other groups did if that was what the people requested. This was a
wise trick to measure their popularity in the polls. Although many plugged
their ears to his offer, the government became alarmed and reproached the
Public, who, tired of straw, were devouring the grain.
Some shouted for the government to "strong arm"
the rebels. However, this deception didn't work. Everyone knew that the
only way out was to negotiate an end to the war with the rebels.Without
all of them at the table there was no negotiation, but no one was willing
to be the first to lay down his weapons.
The web was more tangled still. A fable of Fontaine
explains its depth well.
A peasant's cheese was being plundered by a rat
So he brought a cat to guard the entry,
Turning a scoundrel into the sentry.
So good at this was the wily cat
That both ran away: the cheese and the rat.
Immersed in quarrels over the “cheese", the citizens
of Fableland allowed themselves to be seduced into the way of the destructive
"cat". They fell into the same trap into which another people had fallen,
who began by entrusting their enmities and ethnic prejudices to a policeman
named Himmler in order that he could resolve them in secret. When they
woke up, they were without rat or cheese and under the authority of the
cruel, bloodthirsty Nazis.
When the citizens of Fableland became aware that
they had fallen into the hands of the tyrannical cats it was too late.
Those who declared themselves in favor of dialoguing with a rebel group
put their family in danger of kidnapping; and those who showed their support
for the Fable Plan of the government became a military target.
Embroiled in their tired dream called "The Revolution
Underway", the citizens of Fableland were mired in arguments and accusations
about why this dream had never come true. They allowed themselves to be
led by the tyranny of weapons, led astray behind the most easily manipulated
creatures that exist – the overexcited military with their weapons.
Samaniego narrates a fable that sums up the circumstances
of this wretched and misled country. The animals were playing blindman's
bluff, with a monkey doing the blindfolding, when a mole asked to play.
It was no surprise in the very first game,
The blindman caught the mole.
It was his turn to be lame.
Who better to play the blind man's role?
But pretending, the good sport asked
“What's next? Let my eyes be masked."
Moral? There is no one blinder than he who asks
to be blindfolded.
Translated from Spanish by Cynthia Miller, Mama Coca