Once a deer took a cooling dip in a pond he’d been forbidden to swim in. The fawn got to the deepest part of the lake and, surprise-surprise, a huge alligator showed up next to him.

“Hello, Dinner,” said the alligator.

The frighten fawn had to think fast. “While it’s true,” the young deer opined, “you have the power to eat me now, you’d be a fool to do so.”

The alligator’s one eye above the waterline squinted as if perplexed by the quizzical reaction. “How come?” he asked with obvious skepticism.

“Wolves, coyotes and bears chase me everywhere I go so that there’s not a moment’s rest and I must always remain hyper-vigilant.”


“So,” the fawn repeated, “you can eat me now and have one meal and a good one too, but you’ll be hungry again. Tell me the truth now, how often to deer swim in the pond.”

“Seldom,” the alligator confessed. “They all know I live here.”

“And are you well fed always and stay drowsy with a full stomach?”

“Quite the opposite. I’m hungry most the time to near starving.”

“My point exactly. So if you want endless meals and a varied menu too boot, let me go. I’ll lead those predators who constantly harass me into the lake for you to eat. That way I won’t be so jittery at every twig snap as they’ll no longer be around to hunt me and you’ll stay full and satisfied.”

“Not bad,” said the gator. “We’ll give it a try.”

Because the alligator let the fawn go free he had all the wolf or coyote or bear tartare he could eat and the fawn grew into a twelve point buck that lounged in a meadow alongside the waters edge.

Moral: self-discipline and delayed satisfaction saves from want and result in long-term contentment.  

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