Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for Satyr

A satyr is a creature often depicted in classical mythology.  A satyr is a deity of the woods and mountains and is represented as part human, part horse, and sometimes part goat.  Satyrs are noted for riotousness and lasciviousness.  One source claims that they like to spend their time drinking, dancing, and chasing nymphs.

One of my favorite Aesop Fables is The Satyr and the Traveller (or The Man and the Satyr as it is also called).  Here's how it goes:

One cold bitter night in the dead of winter, a traveller had lost his way in the woods.  As the traveller tried to make his way out, a satyr came up to him. Recognizing that the traveller was lost, the satyr offered the traveller lodging for the night and promised to help him out of the woods in the morning.

As the traveller and the satyr made their way back to the satyr's dwelling, the traveller, shivering from the cold, brought his cupped hands to his mouth and blew on them.  The satyr, curious about the action, asked the traveller why he did that.  The traveller explained, "My hands are numb from the cold.  My breath warms them."

After arriving at the satyr's home, the satyr offered the traveller a pipping hot bowl of porridge.  As the traveller raised the bowl to his mouth, he blew on the porridge.  Watching this, the satyr became confused so he asked the man, "Why did you do that?"  The traveller responded by saying, "The porridge is too hot. My breath helps cool it."

Upon hearing this, this satyr ordered the man out of his house exclaiming, "Out you go!  I will have nothing to do with a man who can blow both hot and cold with the same breath!"

The moral of the story is simple - Beware of individuals who change their nature depending on the situation.  This includes two faced individuals as well.

I recall this fable and its moral at least twice a year, usually when confronted with someone who behaves in this manner.  I have heeded the warning and have steered clear of those individuals.

Do you have a favorite Aesop fable or a fable that you are constantly reminded of by real life situations?  

As always, thanks for stopping by!

This is the nineteenth of twenty-six alphabetized blog entries I am publishing this month as a part of the 2016 Blogging A to Z Challenge.  Many bloggers who participate in this challenge, select a theme.  My theme is - "Whatever I Think Of."  

For more information on the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, click here.


  1. Why is the satyr topless if it's cold?

    1. LOL! I haven't a clue! Ask Aesop. Perhaps being part creature, his body temperature runs higher than humans, like the shape shifting wolves in Twilight... One never knows. ;)

  2. But, don't we all change our nature depending on the situation? I find this confusing. I call it adapting. My father was a social worker and became very interested in multiple personality disorder after someone with that particular disorder walked into his office. In the end, he decided that we all have multiple personalities. It's only a disorder when they don't know about each other. For instance, most of us behave differently with grandma and grandpa than we do with our friends. That isn't wrong. It's just human. We are different people with different people. I suppose this becomes a big problem when those personality habits are really far from one another. Hmm. I don't know. Lots to think about here.

    As for two faced. I think of that as more like dishonesty. And the truth is you can't trust a liar. I know that for sure as I was married to one. Can't. Trust. A. Liar.

    1. I guess I’ve always thought that the moral of this fable applied more to situations where someone says one thing to one person and then says the exact opposite to another or where someone says one thing but then behaves in an opposite manner. I see your point, though, and see how seeing it from that perspective can make it confusing. We as humans must adapt to various social situations and, yes, there are different aspects of ourselves and our personalities that we share with different people. For instance, the way I am my close, personal friends is not how I would be if I were meeting the Mayor of Louisville or how I am with parents during IEP meetings at work. But, regardless of who I am with, my core beliefs and the core of my being remains the same.

      Definitely something to consider and a perspective I might not have thought of. Thanks for chiming in.

  3. On another note, Blogger is acting up again. I've been trying to add myself via your GFC button, but I keep getting the come back later message. So, I'll keep at it until this bug works itself out.

    1. Someone else mentioned that they couldn't get it to work either and I honestly don't know enough about it to troubleshoot. Thanks for trying!

  4. Oooh, I've never heard that fable and really like it, it's clever! I like the satyrs that were in Narnia. ~Liz


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