The Parable of the Zookeeper’s Dilemma

Once upon a time there was a zookeeper with a very nice zoo. There was only one problem with the zookeeper’s zoo. People weren’t coming anymore. They had plenty of reasons, but the truth is people just didn’t seem interested in what the zoo had to offer.

The zookeeper called for a meeting of all the animals to brainstorm for a solution to the zoo’s lack of support.

The alligator opened his very large mouth and bellowed out that the way to induce people to come to the zoo is to growl and howl and even bite a few people (if need be) to show them what an important zoo they are missing.

The monkeys declared that the best way to entice the people to come to the zoo is to imitate the behavior of the world outside of the zoo.  Have the animals working long hours in an office building. Have them busy from morning until night. Make them stressed out about getting their children into the best sporting activities and dance competitions. The fish in the aquarium were very concerned about making sure their youngest were in the best schools (of course). “Imitation is the greatest form of a complement.” the monkeys argued. 

The ostriches stuck their head in the sand. They didn’t want to think about the zoo and its troubles.

The Lamb, on the other hand, lying next to the lion whispered, “Just tell them the truth. We are trying to offer them something that the outside world doesn’t offer. It gets messy. We don’t always get it right. But tell them in here, when we are on our best behavior, they can find rest for their weary souls.” 

Few animals heard the Lamb’s suggestion. The alligators were busy growling and the monkeys were just plain busy. The ostriches asked, “What? Did you say something Lamb?”

A vote was taken and the alligator’s approach won. Growling, howling and bellowing commenced on the terribleness of life outside of the zoo. Most everyone except the lamb and the ostrich participated. 

But their growling and howling didn’t work and zoo soon closed. 

I guess the Lamb was right.

The end.