Angling, Tall Tales, and Trickery

 O, Sir, doubt not but that Angling is an art; is it not an art to deceive a Trout with an Fly? —Izaak Walton, The Compleat Angler (1653)

Some of my clients have said that they are victimized by seemingly underhanded ways and means by those they thought were trustworthy. They want to know more about how to handle this dynamic in their life. These clients tell me that they like to give “the benefit of the doubt” to those they are distrusting. At the same time wanting the ability to know, recognize, and distinguish any lying, trickery, and deception. When I hear this kind of statement I know the client does not trust their own knowingness as real guidance.

It takes a thoughtful discernment and discrimination in order not to be hoodwinked. The nature of a deceiver is to deceive. He or she uses falsehoods, underhanded means, and deliberate hiding with a camouflage over the truth to deliberately cause people to be unable to detect their misrepresentation.

When you are in doubt about what someone is saying or doing this is a sign to look further into what is going on. Doubt is a feeling that spontaneously appears to let you know something is not quite right. Here are some words that can be associated with that doubtful feeling. They are: deceive, lie, betray, mislead, bamboozle, outwit, double-cross, and cheat to name just a few.

You can always ask yourself the following questions when in doubt. The questions are; who, what, where, when, how, and why? What does it sound like to me? What does it feel like to me? What is going on?

Here are a few teaching tales that have deceptive angles in them. While reading the following short fables just notice the affect that comes over you.

The following is a modern day version of deception that was first told by Ann Landers in her newspaper advice column. This tale is categorized as classic American folklore. It is a modern day wisdom morality tale about meeting people that are prone to employing deceptive practices in relationships with others.

Snake Is Always a Snake

Watch out for snakes in the grass

A young girl was trudging along a mountain path, trying to reach her grandmother’s house. It was bitter cold, and the wind cut like a knife. When she was within sight of her destination, she heard a rustle at her feet.

Looking down, she saw a snake, which spoke to her. He said, “I am about to die. It is too cold for me up here, and I am freezing. There is no food in these mountains, and I am starving. Please put me under your coat and take me with you.”

“No,” replied the girl. “I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite me, and your bite is poisonous.”

“No, no,” said the snake. “If you help me, you will be my friend. I will treat you differently.”

The little girl sat down on a rock for a moment to rest and think things over. She looked at the markings on the snake and had to admit that it was the most beautiful snake she had ever seen.

Suddenly, she said, “I believe you. I will save you. All living things deserve to be treated with kindness.”

The little girl reached over, put the snake gently under her coat and proceeded toward her grandmother’s house. In a moment, she felt a sharp pain in her side. The snake had bitten her.

“How could you do this to me?” she cried. “You promised that you would not bite me, and I trusted you!” “You knew what I was when you picked me up,” hissed the snake as he slithered away. ─ Ann Landers

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Many times appearances are deceptive.

 A Wolf found great difficulty in getting at the sheep owing to the vigilance of the shepherd and his dogs. But one day it found the skin of a sheep that had been flayed and thrown aside, so it put it on over its own pelt and strolled down among the sheep.

The Lamb that belonged to the sheep whose skin the Wolf was wearing began to follow the Wolf in the Sheep’s clothing. So, leading the Lamb a little apart, he soon made a meal off her – and for some time he succeeded in deceiving the sheep, and enjoying hearty meals. ─Aesop

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth.

A shepherd-boy, who watched a flock of sheep near a village, brought out the villagers three or four times by crying out, “Wolf! Wolf!” and when his neighbors came to help him, laughed at them for their pains.

The Wolf, however, did truly come at last. The Shepherd-boy, now really alarmed, shouted in an agony of terror: “Pray, do come and help me; the Wolf is killing the sheep”; but no one paid any heed to his cries, nor rendered any assistance. The Wolf, having no cause of fear, at his leisure lacerated or destroyed the whole flock.

Little Red Riding Hood ─ Brothers Grimm

All kinds of trickery and deception in this story

Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who was loved by everyone who looked at her, but most of all by her grandmother, and there was nothing that she would not have given to the child. Once she gave her a little riding hood of red velvet, which suited her so well that she would never wear anything else; so she was always called ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’

One day her mother said to her: ‘Come, Little Red Riding Hood, here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine; take them to your grandmother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing; and when you go into her room, don’t forget to say, “Good morning”, and don’t peep into every corner before you do it.’

‘I will take great care,’ said Little Red Riding Hood to her mother, and gave her hand on it.

The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the village, and just as Little Red Riding Hood entered the wood, a wolf met her. Red Riding Hood did not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraid of him.

‘Good day, Little Red Riding Hood,’ said he.

‘Thank you kindly, wolf.’

‘Whither away so early, Little Red Riding Hood?’

‘To my grandmother’s.’

‘What have you got in your apron?’

‘Cake and wine; yesterday was baking-day, so poor sick grandmother is to have something good, to make her stronger.’

‘Where does your grandmother live, Little Red Riding Hood?’

‘A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood; her house stands under the three large oak-trees, the nut-trees are just below; you surely must know it,’ replied Little Red Riding Hood.

The wolf thought to himself: ‘What a tender young creature! What a nice plump mouthful – she will be better to eat than the old woman. I must act craftily, so as to catch both.’ …to continue the tale click this link


Angling, Tall Tales, and Trickery — 1 Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing. I understood that only our inner being knows the difference, that little voice inside of that is connected to our source. All of us feel our inner being say “this does not feel right” but at times we ignore our inner being and believe the people outside of us more than our intuition.

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