The Parable of Grog and Zog
A long time ago, there was a small band of cavepeople trying to survive in a harsh world. Their two best hunters, Grog and Zog, had been tracking prey together for years. Among the many things Grog and Zog had learned was that when they worked together, they were more likely to catch the meat that helped feed their band, and to get all sorts of adulation and affection as a result.
One morning, Grog and Zog were out hunting when a bear ambushed them! Grog knew if he fled, he’d probably survive, but his good friend Zog would die. Zog knew if he bolted, he’d be the only good hunter left in the band, the thought of which saddened and terrified him. Whether or not they realized it, there was a decent chance they’d both survive if they both stayed and fought. For whatever reasons, they stood their ground together. Since two spears are better than one, they drove off the bear and lived to hunt again.
And hunt they did. They used their imagination to “think like a deer,” employing that early form of empathy to find a big buck and then spear it. But soon after they hoisted the carcass onto their shoulders, a stranger appeared on their path! He was just one man, but he looked strong and he had a club. Fresh from the bear incident, Grog and Zog played it safe, stuck together, and killed the man before he could hurt them.
As night fell, Grog and Zog returned to the cave to much drooling and cheering. The others danced and shouted and expressed their gratitude. Everyone ate as much as possible while they could. The old man of the clan, perhaps feeling left out, warned the others not to get too happy because the Spirits could take everything away. After all, that had happened to the clan in the next valley: their only reliable hunter had been hit by lightning and the little band had perished that very winter.