Parable of the mice, the cat and the monkeys

“We must act now,” squeaked the top mouse, sounding pretty revolutionary. There was a muted round of applause – the mice had heard all this before. What they wanted to know was – how.

The pussy cat, with its voracious appetite, seemed unstoppable. Even though the mice bred fast, their dream of democratically ruling the world was stymied by the pussy cat. Not only was it not letting their numbers grow, it was also not agreeable to a democratic transition of authority to the mice.

The midnight meeting of the mice in the attic was something the top mouse really loved. He was at his oratorical best at midnight, when the pussy cat went to the neighbourhood alley for some fun with the wild cats.

“How do we act?” timidly squeaked a tall mouse with a long tail.

“I have thought long, and I have thought hard,” replied the top mouse. “What we need is networking,” he said mysteriously.

“With?” asked an old mouse.

“Monkeys,” said the top mouse. He looked around for approval, but none came. Mice so far had no truck with the monkeys. It made no sense. But the mice, timid as they are of all authority, hesitated to ask for a clarification.

It was the top mouse who decided to reveal all. “We must think out of the box. We must use the modern technology to our advantage. We must turn our weakness into our strength. We must develop relations with different forces, and use them to further our ends. We must…” And on and on he went till he came to the end of his stock of Famous Managerial Quotes.

“Er..,” began the tall one, “how will befriending the monkeys help us?” he asked in a soft voice, hoping he would not be heard. But he was.

“Idiot,” squeaked the top mouse sharply. “That is why we have not been able to take-over the world, though we have the numbers. Sheer stupidity.”

There was silence for sometime, for this was hardly an explanation.

Realizing that he was the leader of an exceptionally foolish set of mice, the top mouse began to explain the obvious, “With modern technology, we will network with the monkeys. They have awesome abilities – they can jump from one tree to another, just to give you one example. From the treetops they can give us a feedback on the movements of the pussy cat. Information, you see, is power.”

“But we generally know of the movements of the cat,” argued the old mouse in his irritatingly nasal voice.

“Your time is up, old mouse. The new generation is a lot smarter. And for once, try to understand, rather being such a pessimist.”

This suitably snubbed the old mouse, and the younger ones nodded in approval.

“So with the monkey allied with us,” resumed the top mouse, “we will have a good feedback and intelligence mechanism. We will be able to make wise decisions.”

“Like?” blurted the tall one, despite himself.

The top mouse threw his hands in the air in despair. “Focus on one thing at a time,” he said. “For networking we need a mobile phone and a Twitter account. You arrange for that, and no excuses,” he said pointing towards the tall one. “And you, old mouse, do something useful. Go to the monkeys and ask them to join us on the Twitter.”

This time the applause was loud. “We have made progress,” muttered a fat mouse to his wife, ignoring her skeptical look.

It was only the old mouse who looked sad. He knew that even in this generation the chances of the mice taking over the world were bleak.

Moral of the story: The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Alternate moral: You get the leadership you deserve.

***

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About Abhishek

I will let the blog speak for itself...or, at times, for me. View all posts by Abhishek

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