An ape scraped together some education and a chalkboard.  RULES, he wrote on it.


He called the animals together and showed them the rule.  The lion had his doubts, but the ape reminded him that even kings were beneath the law.  By way of teaching the rule by example, the ape helped himself to generous samples of every animal’s food.

Later the ape gathered some tender shoots and was munching on them.  A number of animals who liked that sort of food gathered round for their share.  But “ah,” said the pe, and led them back to the chalkboard clearing.  There, written clearly under Rule Number One, was the following:

EXCEPTION ONE: Unless the Food is a Luxury.

Sharing is for necessities, the Ape explained.  Tender shoots are a delicacy, not a necessity.

The monkey objected, “you ate  most of my banana.   That wasn’t a necessity.”

“Oh, they are for apes,” the ape replied.  “But in any case . . .”  He turned to the chalkboard and wrote a new exception.

EXCEPTION TWO:  Unless the Food Requires Effort to Prepare.

“I had to dig for these tender shoots,” the ape explained.

“And I had to climb the tree for the bananas and you made me peel it for you!” was the monkey’s hot reply.

“I feel sorry for you, friend,” the ape said.  “But Exception Two didn’t exist back then.”

Moral:  the rules created by rule manipulators aren’t real rules.  The explanations they make aren’t real explanations.

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