A Cock, scratching the ground for something to eat, turned up a Jewel that had by chance been dropped there. “Ho!” said he, “a fine thing you are, no doubt, and, had your owner found you, great would his joy have been. But for me, give me a single grain of corn before all the jewels in the world.”
Translation: Cockerel, you represent a fool (stolidum); jewel, you stand for the fine gift of wisdom (sophye); for the fool, this corn (seges) has no taste.
General William Giles Harding Carter, my forbear, West Point Educator and author of the Military manual Horses, Saddles and Bridles was for the most part an accurate researcher. Horses, saddles and bridles was in circulation at West Point during Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill.
It has come to light in the last 20 years, that he was either a product of his times, or a more educated devil than he let the public or his family become aware of.
General Carter wrote a tome on the family history and what he knew of it around 1850. In it, he states, that a participant in Bacon’s Rebellion who’s daughter is my forbear, sold his remaining property and holdings to the Carter family “for one grain of Indian corn.”
It has not been surprising to me anyway, that his research on the family history has been disproved in the last twenty years. But I did make a note of the price that was said was paid, where that tale comes from, and how the tale of The Cock and The Jewel, was used in Western History as a teaching aid.
Now, with a Cheshire Cat headlining this post, implying there is more wit and wisdom to be found embedded in this fable than may first appear…the question can rightly be asked, just what we all hope to learn and gain from the study of history in the first place.
For the time being, I have my ass to cover and at least a 15 page paper I have less than 24 hours to write, source, edit and support it.