Deep in the forest on a chilly day there was a hungry fox who peered into a snow-covered clearing at a flock of turkeys, but they outnumbered him a hundred to one. Yet, the hungry fox was cunning and warily approached the flock of turkeys with a plan.
“Good evening turkeys!” The fox said.
“Go away fox!” The turkeys yelled back. “There are too many of us and if you try to eat us, we’ll tear you apart with our beaks.”
“You misunderstand me,” The fox said. “I’ve come to set you free!”
“Free?” The turkeys asked. They were now curious about what the fox had to say.
“The way you’re all gathered around here,” The fox said. “It’s quite unnatural!”
“Unnatural!?” The turkeys said. “For as long as we can remember turkeys flocked together.”
“Can’t you see?” The Fox said, trying hard to repress his gurgling stomach. “When you flock together you are weaker not stronger.”
“How are we weaker?” The turkeys said, some of them gobbling with laughter.
“Look at that turkey over there.” The fox said, pointing his paw toward a turkey with shabby feathers and a stubby snood. The rest of the turkeys stared at the shabby turkey, who ruffled his tail self-consciously, sending a flurry of feathers to the ground.
“He is so weak and unhealthy that his feathers are falling right out,” The fox said accusingly. “Each of you could do much better if you didn’t have to spend so much time and energy taking care of him!”
Thinking of all the times they had to help the shabby turkey, the other turkeys slowly began to back away from him. It was true at times they had to help their weaker brother through winters and to share their food with him. He was not as good as them when it came to foraging and often times they had to land early when flying longer distances because he could not fly as far as the rest of the turkeys.
“He is a burden on all of you.” The Fox continued on, “When you help him you only enable his weaknesses and make yourselves weaker”
There was a murmur that passed through the flock of turkeys, and for the fox it was a well-timed ruckus, for lost amongst the gobbling was the sound of the fox’s stomach, which let loose an uncontrollable rumble.
“This Tom is the weakness of that Tom and that hen is the weakness of this one!” The Fox shouted as he pointed his finger at different turkeys in the flock, who were beginning to eye one another with mistrust.
It was then that the shabby turkey decided to speak up. “What the fox says isn’t true! Remember when we were lost? It was me who remembered the way back home!”
“Bah!” The fox shouted. “Anyone can become unlost if they work hard enough at it. See how this shabby turkey has made you all lazy and unable to find yourselves?”
The angst-ridden gobbling amongst the turkeys began to grow louder.
The shabby turkey wasn’t going to give up, though. He yelled, “Do you remember when the fires came and the sky filled with smoke? It was me who realized that we could escape the fire on the ground and did not need to fly!”
“Ridiculous!” The fox shouted, his mouth watering so much with anticipation that salvia sailed into the air. “Do you think these other turkeys are only capable of using their own two feet when you tell them they’re able to use them? See how this shabby turkey is dictating every second of your life!”
“Go away you shabby turkey!” The other turkeys suddenly began to yell. “We don’t need you and we’re tired of taking care of you!”
Appalled, the Shaggy turkey backed away. “Can’t you see what he’s doing? If he divides us it is easier for him to eat us!”
“See how ungrateful this shabby turkey is.” The fox said through a toothy smile.
It was then then all the other turkeys turned on the shabby turkey, and chased him away. After the shabby turkey was far away, the fox applauded the other turkeys for doing the right thing.
Barely able to contain himself now, the fox yelled, “Go forth into the forest and become the greatest turkey you can be! Do not let your fellow turkeys hold you back, for now you are free from your brother’s and sister’s hindrances!
With exuberance and gusto, the turkeys streamed out into the forest with glee, and it was many predators who ate deeply in the coming weeks, including the fox. Yet, we must admit that the fox never once told a lie. It was true to him that from his perspective, what the turkeys were doing was unnatural, for he was a fox and a predator, and he felt it was natural for him to find food easy. Until the fox convinced them otherwise, what the turkeys had also done what was natural to them, as they were prey and they flocked together for protection. As such, it will always be the nature of predators to try to use cleverness to make easy targets of their prey, and for the prey to stay together to protect themselves from the predators.
Like the turkeys, people who only have power in numbers must be wary of the cunning person who tries to convince them that it is unnatural or not within their rights to stand together with others, for that cunning person is likely a hungry fox trying to divide their prey.