The philanthropic pig. A fable

The philanthropic pig. A fable

‘The Eagle and the Owl’ by J. W. L. Gleim (1719–1803)

King Eagle once had an owl as his minister.
“Dear old man,” he asked him, “What is your opinion;
do we tolerate the nightingale who can do nothing than sing?”
“I advise to kill anyone who can do nothing else!”
This blood advice, carried out, was followed by dull groaning,
and in the country one could only hear ravens cawing!

The message of the philanthropic pig

It had once become unbearable for a free-range pig at home. Everyone just ate and drank and scolded ‘those up there’, i.e. the farmers in this case.
“Can’t we be thankful,” he dared to ask, “to be provided with food and drink by humans every day?”
The conspecifics thought they had misheard and stopped in unison in front of the feeding troughs. Suddenly one of the relatives spoke up.
“Damn! Be thankful for these crumbs? You must be chestnuts!”
Then, belching, he devoted himself to the opulent crumbs again, and the others had also recovered from the shock. So the philanthropic pig decided to go out into the world to—well, let’s say to broaden his horizons, and would neither rest nor relax until he found an animal that didn’t resent man.

He soon heard a beeping which identified itself with pretty much anything over the course of its lecture. But as he got closer it turned out to be the voice of a she-vole. The philanthropic pig listened in fascination and watched the vole like a person in front of the television. Only when a fox grabbed at the vole did our pig regain consciousness.
“My reddish friend!”, he spoke to the fox, “Let’s have a chat!”
The fox had not noticed the pig and was so surprised that the vole managed to jump out of his mouth. He gritted his teeth as he saw her slipping away but immediately put on a mask of politeness.
“Greetings, dear little pig! What can I help you with?”
“So tell me what you think of people.”
The interviewee made a face.
“Well, what are we supposed to think of these insidious trappers! This is the scum of the animated world! Where should I start there? All they have in mind is discord and falsehood. Even when they pretend to be kind they secretly hatch sinister plans! They represent a serious threat to all life! You would have to wipe them out, finish them off, and then peace would finally reign…”
He had talked himself into such a rage that he didn’t even notice how the philanthropic pig continued on his way.
The next animal he encountered was a clamoring she-goat.
“My horned friend,” it interrupted her nagging, “do you have anything positive to say about people?”
“About these always dissatisfied and nagging contemporaries who are never content with anything and who always have something to complain about?”
And so the philanthropic pig left her behind. It wasn’t long before it saw a donkey standing around.
“My grey friend,” the pig asked him, “do you have a good word for people?”
“For these lazy folks? Let me think for a moment… no!”
Not far away stood a cow.
“My dairy friend,” she was addressed by the philanthropic pig, “how do you feel about people?”
The cattle raised her head and asked the ingenious counter-question.
“People which are so stupid there?”
The philanthropic pig kept walking but none of the animals seemed particularly fond of man.
Dog. “Those callous creatures that bite the weaker and lick the hand of the strongest?”
Snake. “That ruthless rabble that only sprays poison as soon as it opens its mouth?”
Wolf. “Those voracious vultures that can never get enough to eat?”
Magpie. “That envious entity that begrudges anyone anything?”
Hare. “Those fearful fellows that run away from every challenge in life?”
Cuckoo. “Those perilous parasites who prefer to settle in the nest?”

Depressed by the animal world’s general contempt for humanity the philanthropic pig ran into the forest and began to weep bitterly. His squeaking called the moon into action who, feeling disturbed in its holiday rest, turned on the light to confront the culprit.
“For Heaven’s sake! Who the heck is disrespecting my well-deserved tranquility?!
“Oh dear moon,” sobbed the philanthropic pig, “I went out into the world as a herald of philanthropy to meet like-minded animals but no one wants to overcome their inner misanthropy apparently.”
The old celestial body took pity on the pig’s fate.
“I am not authorized to divulge the secrets of the universe but let me tell you, my friend, the path is the goal.”
With these words he turned off the light again and the philanthropic pig was groping in the dark.
A herd of wild boar came along; as the leader became aware of him he stopped abruptly and asked,
“Friend or foe?”
“Everyone’s friend!” replied the philanthropic pig in a voice of conviction.
The wild boar eyed it suspiciously.
“There may be something piggy about you but you’re not one of us! What are you looking for here?”
“I’m trying to find like-minded animals.”
“Indeed! And what do you have in mind?”
“The love for humans.”
The whole herd flinched at the last word. Then the boar spoke.
“Those mean greencoats who shoot everything that comes their way? Get away from us because you’re out of your mind!”
Shortly thereafter, a voice sounded from the oak tree under which our pig was left alone.
“Damned black coats! Do you always have to undertake your night walks through my territory?!”
The philanthropic felt addressed because the pack was already out of earshot.
“Excuse me, dear tree!”
“I’m an owl, you simpleton!”
“You must mistake me with some…”
The owl didn’t let him finish.
“Yes, yes! I got well enough what you are! I’ll drive this obsession out of you!”
He immediately gave an epic lecture on the depravity of the human race in a historical context (or something like that). What felt like an eternity later, he summed it up.
“And now you know that we who deviate from the human norm in any way have always been killed, imprisoned, domesticated and castrated. You probably don’t know the story of the chimpanzee who got locked up in a zoo, threw stones at the people there as a thank you and as a result lost his… you-know-yet, right?”
The philanthropic pig shook his head.
“Well, now you know. So we have every reason to despise them even if it’s certainly a waste of energy!”
At this very point the philanthropic pig dared to dig deeper.
“Accordingly, everything speaks in favor of trying affection for a change.”
The owl reacted indignantly.
“Now, which animal is widely regarded as wise, the owls or the pigs?!”
The strange representative of the latter did not give up.
“Will you, in your boundless wisdom, not at least give it a try?”
“Never ever!”
The philanthropic pig thought it wise to say goodbye.
“In the event,” the owl told him, “that your obsession should, contrary to expectations, catch on and ministerial posts should be distributed–I will be available of course.”
The philanthropic pig was puzzled.
“Ministerial posts? What do you mean by that?”
“Well, if your revolution should be crowned with success, the power of the eagle in the air and that of the lion on land comes to an end, a new system of rule takes the place of the old one, then you will need the wise advice of this very owl!”
“But I don’t wish for a revolution at all!” replied the philanthropic pig.
“Are you implying that you don’t care about fame and glory at all, that you—dare I put it—preach philanthropy for its own sake?!”
“If you want to call it that way, yes.”
“Incredible! And with such a weirdo I’m wasting my valuable time!”
The owl flew away and one could hear him swearing through the forest for a long time.

The philanthropic pig was so tired after all this that he went home, stretched out on all fours and started snoring. He dreamed of a world where animals and humans lived in harmony with each other (that sounds cheesy, I know, but what else can you expect from a philanthropic pig). When it woke up the farmer came to lead it to the slaughterhouse along with two other pigs. He was amazed that one of the three stayed perfectly still while the other two made a riot. Once he heard a short grunt before he… Well, we don’t want to go into the details here. One of the witnesses to this execution was that megalomaniac vole who in a way owed her life to the philanthropic pig. That’s how she heard his message.
“Forgive the people because we often don’t know what we’re doing either!”
From then on, she dedicated her life to spreading this message–with success: many animals accepted it in their hearts and thus found inner contentment. The others absorbed them with their minds, set up a new system of government and became ministers or the like. But that is another fable and requires a narrator who knows what he is doing.


‘field of love’ (“Liebefeld”)

‘field of love’ (“Liebefeld”)

Farewell now to this ‚field of love‘
(Another world is dawning);
After seven years and a half
Elsewhere, I‘ll greet the morning.

I hesitate to look behind
(The past is an illusion);
I couldn’t be more pleased to find
The fifth dimension’s fusion!

The suffering of Mother Earth
Has ever been so painful;
Despite the ancient wisdom’s worth
Man’s hubris so disdainful!

But here we go as ancient souls
To learn from epic errors;
You taught me during our strolls
To look at all the terrors.

You are a regent in disguise
(There’s little you are fearing);
I wished to be just half as wise
Yet soon I’m disappearing.

We are in search of ourselves
As long as we are reeling;
I’m not the only one who delves
In mysteries unveiling.

We might be siblings far above
Beyond all apparitions;
The realm of forms is not enough
For those without ambitions!


Inspired by & dedicated to Bettina A., 53 years, Bielefeld, Germany

Last Words of Homo Sapiens

Last Words of Homo Sapiens

I‘m kneeling in the face of shame
With not a single entity to blame
For guilt is nobody‘s but mine
I did not spare one man, one swine.

My hoarding hands show scarlet stains
I am the last one that remains
There is no need to get them clean
My only witness is a screen.

Since early on I‘ve been insane
And any progress was in vain
I was so proud of me, my kin
So godly, doubting, full of sin.

My lust for more once made me blind
My very victims were too kind
I waged a war against all life
And never overcame my strife.

I have not found my peace on earth
There will not be another birth
Of mankind like the rise of Greece
O mother! Will I rest in peace?

Confessions of a poetic soul

Confessions of a poetic soul

How many labels do we need in order to feel complete?

„I‘m a Caucasian American. A New Yorker. A Democrat. A pharmacist. An Ivy League graduate. A baseball aficionado. A BMW driver. A church member. A family dad.” – Good for you!

Or is it? What does all that say about your essence?

And do labels help us to make this world a better place?

We are. Therefore we create.

You know what always strikes me odd? People complain about all the negativity in the (world) news but can’t do without apparently. They seem trapped in a vicious circle. “One must stay informed”, they tend to justify themselves. What for? In order to stay a part of the general negativity?

“Those nasty delinquents should be punished much more severely!” – Why? Does society mainly consist of saints who are threatened by a few criminals?

Isn’t it remarkable how the civilized man constantly looks for a scapegoat? In every single age of history, in every single region of the world.

There are actually numerous folks who read a book by a spiritual author like Eckhart Tolle and afterwards they claim, “Even if this guy is right the masses will never change!” Guess what, it’s not about the masses. It’s about us.

Why do we keep expecting only the people in charge to improve life on earth? Hardly anyone becomes a politician to establish world peace. And probably nobody becomes a CEO in order to introduce social justice. Man seeks power for his own material benefit. Or do you really give a significant part of your income to charity? Don’t you consider a comfortable house for yourself more important than a dignified life for a random person somewhere in the less privileged parts of the world?

In fact, no one is to be blamed. For in essence we are all equal. It’s unlikely that a poor person would choose social justice if the alternative is to be wealthy in a competitive society.

“But what about an idealistic activist?”, one might ask. Well, what are the true motives of their actions? After all, there are a number of established lobbyists who threw stones when they were students. Peaceful warriors like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Tenzin Gyatso, or Thich Nhat Hanh, on the other hand, have always been extremely scarce. Probably because they are ancient souls.

We necessarily create. Whether more misery or more miracles depends on our level of consciousness. As long as we identify with a superficial label we separate ourselves from the rest of humanity, from life on earth, from the universe. As soon as we overcome the vicious circle of self-defining we become free. Free of any burden. And free to embrace the essence of life—which is true beauty.

Imagine … a world of wisdom

Imagine … a world of wisdom

Well, even in the middle of Europe (where I am from) you will hardly find anyone whose imagination reaches that far. And why should it, right? What would remain of the western world without entertainment, coke & fast food, pharmaceutics, Santa, and technology to name only a few examples of human insanity?

But sarcasm aside, the appreciation for indigenous peoples seems to be quite a rare trait among ‘civilized’ folks all over the planet. Is it because we envy their innate wisdom (as the deceased Daniel Quinn hinted on)?

Enter Zach Bush, MD

This Hawai-based doctor is the manifestation of a dream I never even dared to have. He not only seems to be aware of any global problem but literally dedicates all of his efforts to the planet’s salvation. Though not by raising billions of Dollars in order to finance yet another fancy invention. For wisdom has it that more high-tech only leads to more ecological issues sooner or later.

This great soul actually puts an emphasis on the intrinsic aspect of earth’s soil and water and air. He speaks about a paradigm shift in science that was demanded in vain by renowned German mastermind Goethe more than two centuries ago. He makes it crystal clear that mankind’s war on nature (which began back in Goethe’s day) has to stop once and for all.

It’s not about voting for the right candidate or party. It’s not about expecting the CEOs to give up their fleeting luxury. It’s not about the others. It’s about ourselves to make a difference.

Can you imagine do be with him, with us, with wisdom?

A Che Tani

A Che Tani

He sido una vez un vagabundo
Buscando a mi mismo aquí y allí;
Yo no busqué al otro lado del mundo,
Alguién de allá me encontró a mí.

Y compartimos muchos momentos
Afectuosos, con el corazón,
Mientras que la rosa de los vientos
Indica a cada uno la dirección.

Conozco un lugar más allá del sufrimiento,
Allí puedo llegar estando atento.
No tiene sentido temar a la muerte;

Me doy cuenta del poder del amor,
Me doy cuenta del poder del valor,
Me doy cuenta de que el alma es fuerte.

Inspired by and dedicated to Tania Mendoza, 31 years, Ciudad de México.

Regarding „Penguin Bloom“

Regarding „Penguin Bloom“

There’s indeed something odd about this book—and it’s definitely not the bird. It’s the simple fact that pretty much a third of the written content was contributed by the woman to whom the book is dedicated (a little more than 15 pages): the wife, mother and national Paracanoe champion Samantha Sam Bloom. Obviously, this is neither a novel nor a non-fictional work on a certain subject. It is a piece of art though; and it is non-fictional.

Thanks to critically acclaimed author Bradley Trevor Greive, this combination of a bittersweet family story and lots of monochrome photographs (shot by Sam’s husband Cameron) of an Australian magpie as an evolving family member strikes you magnificent. Widely considered a wild nuisance by white Australians, this feathered fellow proves its innate sense of affection in any picture of coexistence. We don’t know anything about a spearhead of birdkind; but it shouldn’t surprise us if its outer beauty appears to be rather subtle.

In the epilogue, the woman to whom this book is dedicated appeals to the readers to support the spinal cord research foundation in their respective country. This very approach made me sign four online petitions for animal rights for the first time in life. Medical research doesn’t seem to need birds nowadays. Yet whomsoever differentiates between ‘worthy’ and ‘unworthy’ animals—and may it be only subconsciously—is farer away from nature than (s)he pretends to be.

One thing is for sure: No matter the price, this book is worth it!

The Bold She-Blackbird. A fable

The Bold She-Blackbird. A fable

Once upon a space, there was a blackbird. Having only brown and black relatives, they perceived her as inferior—she had been born with a whitish-brown plumage. Her mother used to overprotect her, thinking: This poor thing won’t survive a single day without us. Compared with this, her father wondered whether he might be a cuckold.

After all of her siblings had left their home in order to reproduce, our whitish-brown one boldly declared in front of her parents: I’m going to see the world!

Her father sighed, yet her mother said: No way! So she was forced to leave without their permission.

In the beginning, everything seemed pretty easy: She knew how to fly, and nature proofed to be lush enough to offer several meals per day. Things changed when a hawk began to stalk her zealously. She tried her best in order to escape him, yet he was not one of those slow-food disciples. Eventually, she confronted him boldly: What the heck do you even want from me?!

He hence presented his dumbest visage, saying: Hello cutie! Nice to eat you!

She felt quite a bit offended and responded: Have you ever eaten someone like me?!

Nope!, he replied without changing his grimace.

So what makes you believe that I’m edible then?!

Dunno! I’d say let’s give it a try!

Wanna know what my mom used to say? No way! Now get out of mine!

He was impressed quite a bit, and since she looked good enough to eat he had another idea: Look cutie, why don’t you accompany me for a while? Perhaps, by knowing me better you’ll learn to appreciate my beak.

Considering her options she was thinking: He doesn’t seem to let me vanish easily, and even if he does there will be more guys like him bothering me. Let’s see whether he’s willing to accept my terms … Here’s the deal—number one, don’t ever touch me! Number two, don’t eat birds! Number three, don’t ever touch me! Got it?

Whats number one again? Alright, alright! I can see it in your eyes you don’t find it funny.

Upon this special agreement, they joined forces. His territory proofed to be quite big, and whenever he was heading for a feathered prey she reminded him of his promise. Yet the day came when she had seen everything there was to see, and she realized that she was bound to her promise, too.

The way she eventually got rid of him might sound a bit unlikely, but I am going to recount it nevertheless. As a matter of fact, he soon fell in love with a hawkess who made him choose between her and his ‘feeble friend’. When he intended to eat the latter his fiancée made a fuss: Are you kidding me? You’re not going to enjoy her under my very nib, are you? Is this how you imagine an emancipated partnership based on affection and mutual consent?

He felt quite a bit ashamed, and while he tried to beg his aggrieved beloved for pardon our confident blackbird managed to escape. Of course, her next encounter was merely a matter of time.

She was just swallowing an earthworm when she suddenly felt some teeth around her tail.

Give it back!, demanded a muttering voice.

Excuse me?, replied the blackbird, incapable of turning around.

Whatever you are, give that worm back!

Who the heck is talking to me?!, the trapped one desired to know.

The mistress of the situation!

What if I don’t?, our blackbird boldly bargained.

Then you’ll end up as a fox’s prey!

She gagged the earthworm out. The vixen released the tail in order to eat the dizzy creature. Upon licking her jaws she noted: You’ve got a refined taste!

The blackbird was astonished quite a bit. Well, thank you!, she responded. You’ve got a, uh, nice tail.

You like it?, asked the vixen with a proud visage. I’d like to hire you as my personal hygiene assistant. It’ll be your responsibility to keep my entire fur free of parasites. As a reward you may dwell in my brush, and I might even spare a worm for you once in a while. Deal?

Our plumed heroine was pondering: Is it normal for a fox to be this crazy? Anyway, as long as I live in her tail nobody ever harms me for sure. Deal!, she thus answered.

It turned out to be a decent symbiosis: The vixen was content with her shiny fur, and our blackbird was able to discover new places without being bothered by anyone. Besides, the brush proofed to be the most comfortable and secure nest ever. Their mutual tranquility lasted until the mating season. The vixen was in heat, and the male foxes could not ignore her—which meant the ‘hygiene assistant’ was not safe in her tail any longer. Make sure to return as soon as this revelry is over!, the host reminded the blackbird, bidding farewell to her.

The latter was so concerned about ending up as a fox’s prey that she flew away fast, namely till the point of exhaustion. Halting on a clearing she tried to calm her breathing. When she looked up she was surrounded by a pack of wolves. Whom do we have here?, asked the alpha female, pressing a paw on the blackbird’s tail.

Looks like a weirdo!, exclaimed a male wolf youngster, and his peers cheered.

Silence!, the matriarch growled. If you haven’t lost your voice tell us what you are!

A blackbird!, replied our whitish-brown one. The youngsters cheered again.

It’s less the appearance than the song which makes a blackbird!, an older she-wolf declared.

Are you capable of singing?, the alpha female asked, and everyone was still.

Had she ever sung before? It seemed so natural, and yet she could not remember. She bowed her head in shame.

Well?, said the leading she-wolf impatiently. It’s Blackbird’s choice—it’s sing or slip. She opened her mouth in order to visualize what she meant.

Just when our humbled heroine sensed the stench of doom she started singing. All of a sudden, dozens of black birds with yellow eye-rings and bills showed up on every shrub and responded to her bewitching chant.