The Greedy Hyena

The moral of the 'Greedy Hyena's' story was once very clear to me: 'Avarice is bad'. And there is a Swahili saying to corroborate this. Loosely translated, the saying goes: 'He who wants everything, will loose everything.' All these made perfect sense when I was young and wise; before I was corrupted by time and experience.

Like the Hyena, I want to go to two parties at the same time. (I am using analogies here, so please replace the word 'parties' with a greed of your choice). These two parties are mutually exclusive, because they take place at exactly the same time, but are miles apart. There is therefore no way to make it to both of them, and the wise choice would be to attend one and leave the other. So simple!

But I reach the crossroads where the two paths diverge. I now have to make a decision about which party to go to. Hyena chooses to go to both parties at the same time because he can't stand the thought of missing out on anything! So greedy! Or maybe just indecisive. Perhaps he is just a people-pleaser: he doesn't want to disappoint any of his friends at either party, who must be so mean as to actually throw parties at the same time! Why could they not have conferred and agreed on different dates? How cruel they must be to tempt their friend, Hyena, beyond what he could bear.

The story, has no happy ending. Hyena splits into two as he foolishly tries to walk to both parties along the increasingly diverging paths. He looses everything. The Swahili proverb is confirmed.

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