Sunday 6 May 2012

The Mouse, the Frog, and the Hawk - Beware of who you hang out with

A Mouse, by an unlucky chance, formed an intimate acquaintance with a Frog. The Frog one day, intent on mischief, bound the foot of the Mouse tightly to his own. Thus joined together, the Frog led his friend to the pool in which he lived, until he reached the very brink, when suddenly jumping in, he dragged the Mouse in with him.

The Frog enjoyed the water amazingly, and swam croaking about, as if he had done a meritorious action. The unhappy Mouse was soon suffocated with the water, and his dead body floated about on the surface, tied to the foot of the Frog.

A Hawk observed it, and, pouncing upon it, carried it aloft. The Frog, being still fastened to the leg of the Mouse, was also carried off a prisoner, and was eaten by the Hawk.

Harm hatch, harm catch.

The above is one of Aesop's many stories that I've "borrowed with pride".  

Most of us can relate to it. I for one can share quite a few personal experiences:

1) Please drop me off right ahead. 

I will not take a free ride when I know the driver had a few drinks more than desired. You'll be surprised how many other people don't mind... 

There was once I politely asked my friend to let me off after a short ride - by giving a white lie that I just remembered that I need to buy something - when I discovered the way he drove made me uncomfortable, and he wasn't drinking!

I've been in 2 "light" car crashes - both driven by friends - to appreciate what Aesop meant. 

2) Join me for shopping?

Ever accompanied friends for shopping and you come back with "stuffs" you don't need? Its already hard to say "no" to good salespersons; why add "peer pressure" on yourself?

If you want to lose weight, what do our "friends" do? Eat lah! Won't die one! Have more! I treat you!

3) I made money! It's so simple!

Some friends when they make money - be it gambling at casinos, stocks, futures, forex, property, etc - they like to make it known to the world how "smart" they are...

Skeptical listeners who "capitulate" and join in the fray frequently find themselves buying at market tops or discover belatedly that "simple" does not equate "easy"...

And if it's "voodoo" alternative investments, and they turned out to be scams... Should we "blame" our Frog friends who reassured us it's "legit" and they have received real returns promptly as promised?
Or should the Mice reflect why they willingly let themselves be tied to their Frog friends?

4) Excuse me, can you be my guarantor?

Lucky I've not been put to the test yet. This one is a real tough one... Especially if the one asking is someone you love, respect, and/or is a blood relation....

The heart says "yes"; but the mind screams "no"! 


  1. Hahahahaha! Very true. Now, especially the last one - Guarantor. Forget it man. Avoid it like the plague!

    1. Ronian,

      I pray I never will be tested for the last one...

      Never tell mom you want to lose weight. Now my mom prepares more food for me. I swear it's a conspiracy!

  2. Guarantor for what? For whom? Why me? Am i being asked to bite more than i can chew? If i really have too, then prevention is better than cure. If i am "NEE PO SAK KWO CHIANG", then???

    1. Temperament,

      Well you never know... What if children wants money to start a business.

      Act as loan guarantor or lend retirement money to children?

      Now both tied to each other...

    2. i do not know of anyone who started out business without help from others, banks included.

      i will lend a hand to my children if they want to do it, no douth about it. minimum help ofcos.

  3. we give my father allowances, they are flooded with cash with no where to spend. he is an old hero if you can remember. very generous when he got money. giving here and giving there.

    we are all piss but when we confront him, this is what he say, what do you want me to do with the money? give it back to you when i die?

    we let him do as he wish.

    1. the cost of our pride is a hell lot more than we want to think. we probably spend 5% of our money for survival and the rest on pride. thats my point.

  4. SMOL,
    Well, if we have to be a guarantor, not only we have to look at the person carefully, we have to look at our self too. i know sometimes in life you have Hobson's choice when a relative is concerned.

    1. who am i to be a guarantor? use what to be a guarantor? my butt?

      if i want to help someone dear, i'll give (just like my dad haha)

    2. Exactly, we have to look at our self first. If not we may be giving away our butts without even realising it. Ha! Ha!
      But it is when giving without conditions attached is one of the most noble action a man can do. Like looking after your aged parents without any pre-conditions. Marvellous.

    3. agreed.

      but my dad gives money to others as though they are his children. he needs more pride than his money and his own children. he wore a hat so large that he can't see where he is going.

    4. Temperament and Coconut,

      I guess it boils down to: do don't regret; regret don't do.

      If it's something I can sacrifice - like an arm or a leg, I may do it for love ones.

      But if it's tied together - they drown; I drown....

      Someone needs to be alive to carry on the family name?

    5. my dad has a very good reputation and to this day he has no regrets at all. his moto, "loves others, don't love money"!

      carry on his good deed? i'll be broke in no time!

    6. Coconut,

      Your dad is like 及时雨 in Water Margin :)

  5. SMOL,
    Very good point. If you can't save yourself first how to save others. Why wants to save if all will perish together? It's better that someone is still alive. The world needs to carry on. My sentiment too.

  6. Hi SMOL,

    I've been in such situations as a guarantor before. Firstly, as an undergrad in local university, when a foreign classmate asked me if I can be his guarantor in securing a laptop loan from the school. I flatly refused him, since I do not know him at all and I've never really talked to him despite being my classmate. He didn't talk to me after that incident, which is kind of hard to notice because he didn't talk to me much even before the incident. I think I do not need such people around me as well. Oh well.

    The next instance is when a student of mine signed up with MOE as a teacher, so she needed a guarantor to ensure that she will not break the bond, if not either the parent have to pay or I would have to pay. The amt is not small, though I can't rmb and the guarantor cannot be a relative, hence they found me and another family friend. The parent called me to talk to me about it and ensured that he already have the money stored aside, so if she breaks the bond, I will not 'kena'. I agreed.

    In the end, she did break the bond and the parent did fork out the money to repay MOE for breaking the bond.

    I agree, it's kind of hard to say no when asked to be a guarantor. But I guess, the next time, I'll still say no when I don't feel comfortable. It's like you're driving slowly to negotiate a tight bend and the person behind you horned you to ask you to hurry. Despite the pressure, you still have to be to careful and learn to reject the pressure, because if anything happens and your car is scratched or you knock down something, you are the person paying and suffering, not the one who is horning and pressurizing you from behind, safetly.

    1. LP,

      I like your driving example. If our love ones are in the car with us, all the more we should drive responsibly and reject all pressures from other reckless drivers.

      I feel sad reading in the papers about the young drunk driver getting his wife killed in a car accident some weeks back.

      We should not let people we care about drive after drinking. More importantly, NEVER get in the same car if we can't dissuade him or her!

      Death comes to all of us, but to go because you are tied to someone reckless is just not worth it...


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