Thursday, 29 May 2014

A Parable For Our Times: with apologies to real sharks

Just so we are all on the same page - this is a parable based on the Kim Dot-Com situation

Once upon a time there was a little shark who wanted to be a Great White when he grew up. Because he was a clever and devious hunter he grew to be a very big little shark.  He was not content to dominate the sharks in his part of the ocean and set off towards the zone of the Great Whites - the shark elite whose ranks he thought he was big enough and vicious enough to join. 

This elite of Great Whites allows certain other smaller sharks to scavenge the edges of their kill zone and if they are well fed, they may even let an enterprising little shark dart in to seize some prey for itself, but if a little shark starts to act like one of the Great Whites, or threatens their interests, they'll turn on him.  

The big little shark desperately wanted to be a part of the Great White elite but to them he was just a scavenging pest. When he started to muscle in on their kill zones, they decided to destroy him.  He managed to escape and fled south but they were in a blood frenzy and pursued him across the oceans as far as the great southern ocean where he found some quiet waters in which to rest and gather his strength. 

The local sharks seemed a pretty dopey bunch and were easily bribed with a few fish to let him take up residence in their waters. Once rested, he took to his usual tactic of scattering around large amounts of fish offal to boost his reputation as the biggest predator in the neighbourhood and managed to gather a number of scavengers around him.  

But, unbeknownst to him, there was a Great White in residence - cleverly disguised as a dolphin.  This shark in a dolphin suit  alerted the Great White elite to the big little shark's presence in his waters and a kill squad was sent to finish him off.

Using all his skills, the big little shark managed to escape the kill squads and found himself a spot where he could defend himself.  He thought that if the Great White elite was never going to let him become one of them he would be as much of a nuisance to them as he could  - especially to the resident Great White.  

He looked around for allies. There weren't many - the waters had been so depleted of fish they could not support much in the way of predators - but he managed to find some prey species which were swimming around in an agitated and fearful state. 

He devised a cunning plan. He also disguised himself as a dolphin (a very large one it must be said) and persuaded the prey fish that he and his dolphin school would protect them from the Great White and its gang of scavengers if the prey fish would act as a diversion. They were to present themselves as a target while he and his school would sneak up behind the Great White and ram him - that being the way dolphins attack sharks.  Once deprived of their devious leader, the scavenger gang could be chased away by the dolphins and all would be well. 

The fish were so anxious for some leadership they totally forgot to question how come this particular dolphin had such huge teeth, not to mention the fact that dolphins also eat fish. 

After a lot of discussion, the prey fish agreed to band together to create a big enough shoal to attract the resident Great White's attention. The Great White duly sniffed out the prey and headed in for the kill. To the horror of the fish there was no sign of their dolphin protector.  Once the Great White had killed and eaten as many of the fish as he could catch and his scavengers had finished off the rest, he turned and found himself confronting the big-little shark.

'That was my gift to you,' the big little shark said. 'Proof of my good intentions. I want to stay here in these waters and if you let me I can promise you more prey - especially lots of tasty young juveniles. They can see right through your disguise because frankly it's wearing a bit thin, but they think I'm a real dolphin.'

The Great White thought a while and being a very pragmatic sort of shark who didn't get to where he was by useless displays of overt aggression, agreed to let the big little shark stay - as long as he delivered a regular tribute of the tasty young prey he'd promised. 

And if he became too much of a nuisance, the resident Great White thought, there is more than one way to kill a shark.

The End.

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