A Fable: The Story of Solomon the Republican Squirrel

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Solomon Squirrel was born on a snowy Valentine’s Day in a nest of leaves high atop a tall pin oak tree, along with a brother and a sister.  Ten weeks later, the three young squirrels left the warmth of their nest to strike out on their own.  His sister and mother were killed by a feral cat; his father got squashed by a loud machine driven by a human, and his brother chewed his way into the attic of a human never to be seen again.  Orphaned, Solomon quickly taught himself how to survive on nuts and acorns spending most of his time high up in the trees, a lonely solitary squirrel was he.  But then over the due course of time, he discovered other squirrels chasing one another up the rough bark of hickory trees, making nests of their own high up in black walnut trees, and burying nuts just beneath the surface of the ground.  But the next winter came early, and Solomon had no such store of nuts.  He was starving.  Some of the squirrels he had seen took pity on him and lead him to places where they had buried some of their walnuts.  He ate and gained enough strength to make it through the winter himself, though barely.  The fear of coming too close to his own death somehow changed Solomon forever.  He wanted to put as much distance between himself and that awful feeling as possible.

Next year, Solomon spent all of his time building up winter stores and constructing for himself a proper nest.  He rose earlier than the other squirrels, not stopping even after darkness fell.  Only when his tired body could not possibly harvest one more nut did he retire to his nest – and what a nest!  Carefully lined with lint and bird feathers, comfortable and soft and spacious inside while completely camouflaged to humans outside.  He figured out how to store piles of nuts in the hollows of trees making them easier to access in winter versus digging under high snow or into frozen soil – a small but significant innovation.  That winter he encountered an orphaned squirrel just like he had been the year before; he led the shivering and skinny little squirrel to one of his nut stores.  Those who had helped him could not find even a fraction of the nuts they had buried under the thick cap of ice further covered under two feet of snow, and so they followed him to one of his stores and ate their fill. Solomon watched them eat and chattered joyously.  Solomon’s heart was filled with charity and love.  All the other squirrels started calling their home, Solomon’s Woods.

In due time, Solomon found his one true love.  They wedded and lived together in his nest.  She gave him a litter of six little squirrels, and he worked at harvesting nuts as hard as ever, but just worked a few less hours each day so that he could spend it teaching his little ones and helping his wife.  He made friends and taught others about his innovative storage method.  Now he paid some of his friends in nuts while teaching them to build solid nests of their own.  Soon the woods shook with the noises from heavy machinery and the patch of trees became hemmed in by human buildings and roads, causing many displaced squirrels Solomon had never seen before to populate his once mostly solitary woods.  These squirrels built nests that were shabbier and less comfortable than Solomon’s, and they were unwilling to work from daybreak till after dark like him.  The other squirrels, eyeing Solomon’s opulent nest and beautiful wife and whispering one to another about his stores of nuts inside trees, all got together one day.  The large gang encircled Solomon and his wife and his friends and workers and said to him, “We’ve decided that to allow you to continue living in our woods, we demand fifty percent of your nuts.  We need them for ourselves.  We must survive too, Solomon.”

Solomon’s jaw dropped.  “You have no right to take what is mine simply by claiming need.  I work hard.  For some I have given freely of my nuts, for others I have created jobs letting them earn additional nuts. Go make your own ways.”  Much chattering and tittering ensued, until the gang went in separate directions and ran up trees, pillaging Solomon’s nut stores, and a few from his friends and workers.  He tried chasing after one then another, but altogether he and his friends were merely a minority: the gang had the advantage of numbers.  After methodically checking each store he discovered the gang had taken half of his hard-earned nuts.

One night he stole out of the nest and searched many miles until he found an even larger patch of woods than his own, filled with oaks and walnuts and far from humans.  Each night he secretly returned, working to build an even better nest and filling stores with nuts.  One night he woke his loyal friends and workers and, gathering his wife and babies, stole away the many miles to their new home.  His wife and babies loved their new home and his friends and workers emulated his nest when building their own, learning from his cleverness and inspired by his energy.  Winter came fast and hard, the worst ever.  Solomon and his family and friends and workers all heard through the grapevine: humans further cut into their old home turf, moving into their new habitations along with their cats. The gang completely pillaged all nut stores after the first snowfall, and soon Solomon’s Woods had not one squirrel left in its trees.

Never ask another to live for your sake.

Senator Obama said that he was going to raise taxes to quote “spread the wealth around.”  Later, President Obama said: “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Envy and pettiness.  The fact is that wealth never creates itself.  Worry not about what the other guy has; instead worry how you can turn your knowledge and skills into creating wealth for yourself.  Vote Republican.

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