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It's amazing to me how many times full-grown adults completely forget the simple life lessons that children hear before bed every single night. The current economic crisis has provided ample backdrop for a classic Aesop Fable to play out right before our very eyes.

So I've decided to re-write Aesop's classic for a modern day hockey audience, I'll share the basis of the modern fable after the story. Enjoy...

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A not so long time ago, and not so far away, there existed a moderately powerful kingdom. The king, a small cartoonish Napoleonic man, ruled over the lands with the support of his many vassals and the lords of the lands. Just to the south of the empire there existed a vibrant belt of land known for its perpetual sunshine. The king saw that vivacious vacant frontier and decided that it was a powerful opportunity to grow his realm. The king allowed some nobles to court the king's fancy in order to be granted lordship over some of these new lands. This is a story about two of those lords. Lord Star, and Lord Coyote.

Lord Star, who knew he could only govern with the support of the locals,got to work right away to build loyalty from the native population. He invested in a farm and irrigation infrastructure even though farms in his area rarely became parched. He sent his knights and noble court into the community to build goodwill.

Lord Coyote would look at Lord Star amused. "You work far too hard" he told Lord Star. "You should be out enjoying the prosperity while it's here. That irrigation system is unnecessary, your crops are bountiful!" Lord Star would ignore him, continuing to gather goodwill and develop infrastructure.

Lord Coyote would be further amused. "Life is good" he would tell Lord Star. "Now is the time for luxury." Meanwhile Lord Coyote lived far more luxuriously that he could afford. The careless Lord Coyote searched the kingdom far and wide for the most famous knight in the entire kingdom, and brought him into his court for a princely sum. The farms, which were providing barely enough food to begin with, went neglected because Lord Coyote preferred to invest his subjects' money into a towering castle outside the city.

Then the drought came.

Lord Coyotes farms dried up and the previously meager but sufficient crop dwindled to nothing. The farms dried up and the farmers left for greener pastures.

"What should I do?" asked Lord Coyote "How will I ever get through this?" Lord Coyote asked. " I should invest in farms and the community". But it was too late. No amount of irrigation could heal the dried up land in time. And no amount of community involvement could repair the neglected community relationships in time. The situation became so bad that finally the King had to step in, strip Lord Coyote of his nobility and take over the lands. Lord Star, however, has been able to ride out the drought due to the stored reserves from the bountiful harvests created by his clever investments combined with the current small, but sustainable, crops. When the drought subsides and the rains return, as they will, Lord Star is positioned to have his kingdom flourish.

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This fable was based on The Ant and The Grasshopper. It's amazing how a children's tale can explain why some franchises struggle, like the Coyotes (Panthers, and Thrashers) , and Stars (Sharks, and Hurricanes) can tread water during these tough economic times.