A Parable: The Hunter & His Wise Son
“The Hunter and His Wise Son”
The Hunter: I’ve had it, I’m going to kill that Red Fox once and for all.
His Son: Why father? He’s never done anything to us.
The Hunter: Oh stop being so naive, the Red Fox is dangerous, and sly. If I don’t hunt him down, he’ll definitely try and attack us first.
His Son: Why would the Red Fox do that? As you say, he’s smart, and probably knows you could shoot him if he tried to harm us.
The Hunter: Stop acting like a naïve dove! Don’t you remember how that other fox, the Gray Fox, attacked us recently! I know you remember how awful that was!
His Son: Yes, of course I remember. I am not a fool, you don’t have to remind me. But I do not see how one relates to the other?
The Hunter: Well, you know how those foxes are. They look the same. They live in the same forest. They’re both “evil”!
His Son: Just because they’re both foxes who live in the same forest, does not mean they act the same or should be treated the same. In fact, the Red Fox and the Gray Fox aren’t even friends.
The Hunter: Oh stop being so naïve. They’re friends, and they’re evil. These foxes are just very sneaky! Only your father can see through the evil.
His Son: Well, my uncles, your brothers, can’t seem to see the same things you do. Are they wrong? Are you wiser than them?
The Hunter: Stop it boy, you ask foolish questions.
His Son: No I ask important questions. (pause) So how is it going hunting down the Gray Fox anyways?
The Hunter: I'm still searching for him.
His Son: Why not focus on getting the Gray Fox, who has already harmed us, before moving on to the Red Fox?
The Hunter: It’ll be easy to hunt down the Red Fox!
His Son: Maybe, or maybe it won’t. But regardless, what if simply trying to kill the Red Fox angers all the other foxes whose territory you invade, and they try and attack us like the Gray Fox did.
The Hunter: Stop thinking so much boy!
His Son: Well, I think you should consider that.
The Hunter: But don’t you see! He’s going to get me first. We both know that the Red Fox has been mean to the other foxes in the past, and I’m next. Why don’t you see this? You should be afraid son!
His Son: You can’t scare me into doing things which are wrong. I know the Red Fox is not a very good fox, but there are many other things you can do with your time than going hunting.
The Hunter: Like what?
His Son: Like feeding your family, and educating them, and making sure we’re healthy.
The Hunter: But son, think about all the other foxes in the forest who may be in danger from the Red Fox. If I kill the Red Fox, I’ll be doing them all a favor. I’ll be bringing them “God’s gift to the world!”
His Son: Father, since when are you able to know what god’s gifts are? Who are you to decide what the other foxes want.
The Hunter: Son, I am a man of faith. My faith will lead me to the right decisions. In fact, my other sons, the good ones, pray for me at night. I know their prayers will give me success in hunting the Red Fox.
His Son: So you decide what is best for the foxes of the forest and what gifts you bestow on them with god’s grace? And you want us to pray for you? Do you think you are a god?? I do not pray for you! In fact, I only pray that you will not go hunting. Even your brothers both agree with me. They do not want you to kill the Red Fox. What do you say to them?
The Hunter: Damn them! I’m the one with the money. I’m the one with the biggest gun. I’m the one bringing “God’s gift“ to the foxes.” I’ll do what I want to do!
His Son: So let me get this straight. You’re too good for your brothers and are willing to alienate them because of your desire to go hunting. You’re willing to risk the chance of inciting violence against us by the other foxes when you invade their homes. You won’t have as much help warding off these threats in the future since you’ve alienated your brothers. You’d rather spend all your time and resources going after the Red Fox, when you still haven’t been able to catch the Gray Fox. You waste hard earned money on hunting, instead of supporting your family, feeding us, educating us, and making sure you‘re healthy? And lastly you are beginning to act like a god who goes into the forest and tells the foxes how they should act. You are out of control father!
The Hunter: You ungrateful kid! You will do what your father says and like it. Do you not care for your family? Standing up to your father is being disloyal and you deserve to be punished.
His Son: No, you are wrong. I stand up to you precisely because I care so much about the family.