On the Horns of a Dilemma
During apple season, Mongo is always on the lookout for fallen apples. Despite the fact that he has been stung on multiple occasions by yellow jackets hiding in the apples, he continues to scoop them up if he comes across a tasty one.
This morning, Mongo had scored another apple from a tree near the house. He carried it back and then into the kitchen.
Dad looked at him and asked, “Do you want to EAT?” EAT being one of Mongo;s favorite words, he opened his mouth, dropped the apple, and did a happy dance around the kitchen.
Dad prepared his kibbles and green beans, and placed the bowl on the floor. Mongo scarfed it up with his usual gusto. Then he appeared puzzled for a moment as he surveyed the kitchen. When he saw the apple, he sauntered over and scooped it up again.
Now Mongo knows apples are outside food. So he stood there in the kitchen with the apple in his mouth, looking at Dad expectantly. He was waiting for Dad to give the command “OUTSIDE”. Instead Dad threw him a curve ball.
Instead of saying “OUTSIDE”, Dad said “PAPER”. PAPER is another one of Mongo’s favorite words. It means he gets to go the front yard, and search and find the paper, and bring it inside. And the best part is when Dad takes the paper from Mongo, Mongo gets a treat!
So having heard one of his favorite words, Mongo bounced across the living room to the front door. Dad let him out and reminded him why they were there. “PAPER”.
Mongo bounced out the door to the base of the steps and then paused. Apparently his mind was churning with all kinds of conflicting thoughts.
“PAPER is good. But I already have apple. To pick up paper means, I must drop apple. But I LOVE apple. But I LOVE paper!” Mongo was perched on the horns of a dilemma.
Finally Mongo reached a decision. Unlike the dog in Aesop’s fable who drops his bone into the pond in a vain effort to get two bones, Mongo had decided on a prudent course of action.
He settled down to eat the apple first, all the while keeping an eye on the stairs in case Dad tried to get the paper himself and bypass the middle man.
When he was done with the apple, he trooped up the stairs and returned with the paper. Problem solved. Mongo gets to eat apple and still gets treat!