Everything I need to know about foreign policy I learned from my grandfather.
I grew up in the same house my father grew up in. One of our neighbors had an apple tree that produced the most delicious looking apples I’d ever seen. One day I told my dad I was going to go into their yard and get one of the apples. He said, “I’d think twice if I were you. We’ve got plenty to eat here. Let me tell you a story about when I tried to get an apple out of that tree.”
My father said that when he was a boy he’d gone to my grandfather and told him that he was going to get an apple out of the tree. My grandfather told him that he should not go onto other people’s property without permission. Besides, all the neighbors had was the apple tree. Our family had an apple tree, though not as big and fruitful as the neighbors’, along with a pear tree, and a garden full of vegetables. And my family certainly didn’t want anyone coming onto our land and taking what they pleased did they?
But my dad didn’t listen. The next day he hopped the neighbors’ fence, walked up to the apple tree and reached for an apple. Just as he did, a pack of dogs came around the corner of the house and began chasing him. My dad was able to get back over the fence before being caught by the dogs. Once on the other side of the fence, he got a good look at the dogs and realized they were all rabid.
My dad said, “Not only was it wrong to go over there and try to take an apple, but I was lucky to get out of that yard without being eaten alive by those crazy dogs. No matter what I tried, there’s no way those dogs would have ever been friendly towards me. There are still rabid dogs over there. Stay out of their yard.”
Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to my dad either. The next day I hopped the fence and tried to grab an apple. Sure enough a pack of dogs came after me, just like they had come after my dad years before. But I wasn’t as lucky as my dad. One of the dogs made it through a hole in the fence and began chased me all the way home. Just as I made it to our front porch, where I had always felt safe, the dog bit me right on the butt.
To this day, I still can’t believe that anyone would keep rabid dogs on their property. But that’s not what I learned most from this experience. What do you think the most important lesson is?
a) Don’t try to steal apples from someone else’s yard if they have rabid dogs there. They may follow you home and bite you.
b) If you’re going to steal apples from a yard full of rabid dogs, you’d better take plenty of fire power with you so that you can kill them all.
c) Dog or no dog, don’t steal apples out of other people’s yard, especially when you already have plenty to eat at home.
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