The Croc, the frog, the fish, and the dolphins
Muse #200 - the greatest story book of our times
Have you read the greatest children’s storybook of all time? It is called “The croc, the frog, the fish, and the dolphins” and it teaches them (and us) all the required values that we need to imbibe while we grow up in one singular book. And while at it, it is also a great book for the corporate world to read and fix themselves with these morals. See, how easy change is. Or at least how simple change could be.
These four aquatic creatures are the pool toys floating around in my neighbor’s pool every day. In the last month, I was recommended the same children’s book in three different meetup forums as being something valuable to teach adult lessons that could potentially help organizations get better.
And this book was “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy. A British Illustrator (who draws on the lines and style of Picasso and that comparison would be me being kind), but I guess he should have stopped with that. He went ahead and wrote a children’s book (no harm in that) which he probably started with a collection of values that he wanted to talk about and then worked backward to incorporate into a story.
Of course, all stories are made up. But this one is like an organization fiction - where values, vision, and mission are painted on the wall and mean nothing more than that. I think of the poor children who are engineered into reading this story and imbibing these forced values from it. And they will be all greatly engineered clones that sing kumbaya. This book is an engineered reality of modern times and that is a shame. Certainly, I don’t get the same vibe or not in the class of reading the works from people like Dr. Suess or Lewis Carroll.
My learning from this and reading most contemporary books in recent times has been so simple.
Read books whose authors are at the least dead.
Shoot for books written in the last 50-500 years or more.
And preferably look for thoughts codified from before that - perhaps going back to 3,000 years at the minimum and working forward from there.
Especially, look for the works published long after someone wrote it (or talked about it) and the works carried over generations by others and then codified over a long period of time by several authors.
I am glad the book and its audiobook were both available on Scribd, my unlimited reading and listening platform. So all that was potentially wasted was my time - perhaps not even that as I got a post out of this one.