A Garden State Fable

A Garden State Fable

(a previously unknown work by Aesop, recently discovered

during research in the bowels of the New Jersey State Library)

Once Upon A Time, there lived a family in the Land between Two Rivers. They worked there happily for many years. They built a small family business that earned them a tidy income every year. Life was good.

But things changed, as things often do. The children began to want things the family could not afford. The father saw this, yet he just couldn’t say no to his beloved offspring. So, he let them buy whatever they wanted.

Of course, the bills came due for what the children had bought, and the father did not have the money to pay them. He decided to borrow money to pay the bills, rather than disappoint the children by returning the purchases.

This continued for many years, until, one day, the father could not borrow any more money to pay the bills for the things his children were buying. He faced a difficult decision, but still did not want to disappoint the children.

Looking for a way out of his vexing dilemma, the father suddenly recalled the small family business that had brought the family a steady income every year. “Aha!” he thought, “I have discovered the solution to my problem!”

“I will sell – no, lease – no, monetize – no, financially restructure the family business, raise the prices we charge our customers,” cried out the father, “and pay back part of what I borrowed to pay for the children’s purchases.”

And so he did. The father journeyed to the Great City beyond the River and pawned the family business to the money lenders there. He got money, paid off part of his debt, and even found money left over to spend on the children.

But, lo, all was not well in the Land between Two Rivers!

The children still wanted more things than the family could afford. The father saw this, yet he just couldn’t bring himself to say no to his beloved offspring. So he let them continue to buy whatever they wanted.

Once again, the bills came due for what the children had bought. And, again, the father did not have the money to pay them, all the more because he no longer had the tidy income earned by the family business he had pawned.

The father decided to borrow more money to pay the bills, rather than disappoint the children by returning the purchases. So, he journeyed once more to appeal to the money lenders in the Great City beyond the River.

The father knocked on the money lenders’ door. “Please let me in,” he pleaded. “I have come back to borrow more money from you so that I can pay for the things my children want to buy.”

“Go away!” came the cold reply from the money lenders. “We already have your family business and the income it gives us. We don’t need you. If you can’t pay your bills, that’s your problem. We won’t lend you any more.”

Dejected, the father wandered home, wondering how to tell his beloved offspring that they were broke and had lost the family business, as well as their source of income. The children, he knew, would be so disappointed.

And they lived unhappily ever after.

The moral of the story is, “It’s the spending, stupid!”

 

A Garden State Fable