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The wolf and the chihuahua - a parable for modern times.

A massive timber wolf and a chihuahua lounged by the gently breaking surf of an island paradise resort. They relaxed in their colourfully striped canvas backed chairs and soaked in the glowing sun and squished the pristine white sand between their hairy toes.

They sighed long and often as it had been a very traumatic year and for the first time in a very long time - they realized that they were calm and content.

“Could it get any better?” the wolf asked.

“Only if we had one of those cold fruity drinks with umbrellas!” the chihuahua replied excitedly.

The wolf blew a raspberry. “Those things are mostly sugar. Don’t you know your body is a temple?”

But before the very excited yappy little dog could reply, a strange thing happened.

At that exact moment, two humans laboured to push a cart toward the lounging pair.

They were dressed rather oddly for the beach. Both wore white lab coats and did not look happy and content at all. In fact they looked rather business-like and callous.

The cart turned out to be a bar cart and low and behold, two fruity drinks with umbrellas glistened on it’s cold polished metal surface.

The drinks reflected their surroundings. One was a deep blue - like the ocean, and the other a bright blood orange, like a setting island sun. The drinks looked delicious and thirst quenching and the glasses that held them were already sweating.

“Are those for us?” queried the wolf suspiciously.

“I want the blue one.” the chihuahua piped up.

The people in lab coats, a man and a woman, looked down at the drinks and then at the two loungers.

“Indeed, the drinks are for you but they come with conditions.”

The wolf looked quizzically at the chihuahua and vice versa.

“Conditions?” they simultaneously asked.

The man reached into his lab coat and retrieved a vial filled with a dark cloudy liquid, like the vitriol of a sorcerer's cauldron.

He held up the vial filled with viscous sludge and said, “You can have one of these drinks but only if you let me pour this into it first.”

The wolf and chihuahua frowned and looked skeptically at the man.

The wolf questioned the woman, “What’s in it?”

She shrugged unconcerned and replied, “I don’t know.”

The wolf questioned the man, “What’s in it?”

The man shrugged and replied, “I don’t know.”

The chihuahua couldn’t contain his excitement and yapped, “Who cares, I want mine now, gimme, gimme!”

The wolf was incensed and ignored his yappy friend. “What do you mean, you don’t know what’s in it? Didn’t you swear an oath?”

The woman chuckled.

The man smiled and said matter-of-factly, “Oh, I did swear a long time ago but I don’t care about that now. Every time I pour this liquid into someone’s drink and they drink it, I get paid by the people who made it.”

The wolf, now angry, chided the man, “But you have no idea what’s in it or what it will do to me!”

The man shrugged and grinned, “Paid a LOT of money!”

He then poured half the vial into the blue drink and half into the orange drink.

“There you go. Now drink it all up.”

The wolf and chihuahua gawked at each other and then the man and the woman.

The wolf took a deep breath to calm down and evenly said, “You’re a complete stranger who admittedly knows nothing about that liquid and you expect me to drink it?”

The woman and the man nodded, quite bored already.

The wolf continued, “What if that liquid makes us sick? We could sue you!”

The man looked down on the wolf with a superior air and flatly replied, “I don’t care if you get sick and you can’t sue me because the people who made the liquid are immune from prosecution.”

The wolf, now quite upset, growled, “THIS IS CRAZY! I WON'T DO IT!”

The chihuahua said nothing for a change.

The man sighed, as did the woman. The woman pulled out the key to the wolf and chihuahua’s hotel room and jangled it back and forth tauntingly.

“If you don’t drink all the liquid, we will take away your hotel room, room service and your plane tickets home.” warned the woman.

The man added, “And your livelihood.”

The woman also added, “And your freedom.”

The wolf spat, “You CAN’T do that!”

“But we can.” stated the man, “The people who control the liquid, control the beach.”

A commotion further down - said beach - interrupted the exchange. They all wondered what the noise and fuss was all about.

Another timber wolf loped along the surf toward the lounging wolf and chihuahua, man and woman. This wolf looked like it had been in many altercations as a big chunk was missing out of it's left ear. But the new wolf wasn’t the source of all the chaotic noise.

Surrounding the wolf were a group of yapping chihuahuas. They nipped at the wolf’s heels and badgered him mercilessly. They taunted and teased him as they gnashed their little teeth. He didn't have owners who fed him bonbons and tied his hair in ribbons when he defecated in the proper place. He was a nasty wolf who questioned everything and claimed he was free. Why he even thought the canine media was run by cats!

The chihuahua, lounging next to the wolf, jumped up and ran after the lap dogs and joined in their bullying of the other wolf. As he ran away, he called back, "I'll be back for my drink. I follow orders, I'm a good boy!"

The smug nurse turned to the wolf, still lounging, and said, "Looks like you're all alone."

"I'd rather be alone and free than wear a collar and lead."

The man raised his hand in reassurance, "Just take a few sips, I know you'll like it. We want everyone to take a drink. No one will be left out."

The fur on the wolf's neck bristled and he bared his formidable teeth, "And why should I trust you? Just because you wear a lab coat? How do I know you're telling the truth and have my best interests in mind?"

"Oh, come, come now. The Chihuahuas trust me. Don't you watch the canine media? Why some of my colleagues have the same status as rock stars. The chihuahuas hang on their every word." the man laughed.

The woman chimed in, "Don't rock the boat, life is much easier when you acquiesce into dependency."

The wolf noticed a change in the background sounds. The yappy dogs were no longer yapping.

The man and the woman smiled and said, "How wonderful!" in unison.

Racing across the sand on their tiny little legs, skipped the chihuahuas. Most of the yappy little dogs, frolicked and played with the man and the woman and tried ineffectually to jump up on their laps. Two of the chihuahuas ran over to the wolf, furiously wagging their tails.

One was the wolf's friend who jumped up on the bar cart and sniffed at the blue fruity drink. He winced at the first acrid taste but picked up his pace when he noticed the man was scrutinizing him with his arms folded in front of him.

The other chihuahua had a large piece of his left ear missing. This dog sat right in front of the wolf and looked at him sadly.

The wolf looked quizzically at the dog in front of him.

"Why do you look so maudlin? Has someone died?" the wolf inquired with concern.

Tears began to roll from the chihuahua's face and clump in the sand.

"I couldn't hold on. I caved into the pressure." the dog-eared dog cried.

The wolf, exasperated and only having so much patience for this or any chihuahua, snorted and asked, "What are you going on about? What did you do?"

The chihuahua shook it's head back and forth, "I took a drink."

It then lay down and rest it's little head on it's little foreleg and sighed mournfully.

The wolf tilted it's own head at an angle and said, "So you took a drink, big deal! You yappy little things do like your sugar."

The tattered eared dog looked up at the wolf and whispered, "Before I took the drink, I was a wolf just like you!"

The wolf shot out of the lounge chair in alarm, tail curled skyward and muscles taunt and ready and growled fiercely at the two humans in lab coats.

But they didn't cower. They didn't flinch. They didn't show any signs of fear at all.

In fact, the man in the lab coat smiled triumphantly at the wolf and spread his arms wide gesturing to the all the yappy dogs, "They were all just like you!"

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