The Ducks and the Geese


Once upon a time there was a poor hamlet of ducks and geese. The ducks had more stuff than they could use but lacked money. The geese had the opposite problem. But no one traded because each did not trust that the other would not cheat him. The occasional brave soul would eventually get plucked, freshing the object lessons.

A wizard happened along. He eyed the situation and decided he could fix it. He waved his wand giving both ducks and geese sharp teeth. Everyone liked their new fangs because they looked great and they gave them the recourse needed to safely trade. Ducks felt compelled to act honorably, and with basic civility, because they realized that if they were a jerk about it, someone would chew a divot from their rump. The geese saw it pretty much the same way. The few who ran afoul of norms soon discovered their harvest of rump divots warned off fresh victims.

Trade boomed. Everyone was getting rich, including the young wizard who yanked a hank of down from every duck.

Nothing good lasts forever. No one really knows what went wrong. Some think that all that rich food the now rich wizard ate upset his blood chemistry and adled his thinking.

Regardless of the reason, the wizard, declared the marketplace was unbalanced. He again waved his wand and defanged just the ducks in order to restore balance. The ducks cried "fowl!" The wizard said the ducks had nothing to fear and to stop making noise.

The geese just grinned as they contemplated the new arrangement.


Shortly afterward the wizard left the again-poor hamlet seeking fresh opportunity. He applied to several renowned graduate schools for a PhD in Psychology based on Life Experience. He said he could apply his experience to resolve the question "If you cage a bunch of ducklings with house cats, at what point will the cats all find their true selves and become vegetarians?" His letters went unanswered. So instead he ran for Governor.