Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of an ongoing series of fables that were originally published in Green Bag. This set was published between 2014 and 2015.
The Magpies’ Conviction
Owl tried conscientiously to render fair decisions for the Pine Forest denizens. She consciously considered her biases in favor of winged creatures and strove to overcome them. She also consciously recognized that, unlike her, some creatures preferred light to darkness and she tried to set that prejudice aside. Nevertheless, the Magpies who wrote the Forest Glen Gazette and hosted its webpage were convinced that Owl was always affected by her own heritage and her customs, and that no one in public life could set aside such predilections. As a result, every story the Magpies wrote about Owl’s decisions started with: “Owl, who is a bird of the night, decided [as follows].” The premise helped to sell newspapers and advertising, because many denizens of the Pine Forest were ready to assume that all judicial decisions were pre-ordained by prejudice.
Moral: Those who live their lives based on prejudice assume that others must do so as well.