In the animal kingdom, the dogs decided to start a school to help the puppies learn to play fetch. All kinds of dogs were teacher dogs, but only the Big Dogs were in charge.
Often, the puppies didn’t do a very good job at playing fetch. Some puppies would only chew on their sticks instead of fetching them, some puppies kept peeing on everything, and some puppies even bit the teacher dogs.
The Big Dogs were worried, because they didn’t want to look bad in front of all the other animals. They knew they had to Do Something.
But they didn’t really know how to solve the puppies’ problems, so they just made the teacher dogs chase their tails.
The teacher dogs did what they were told. See, back when the teacher dogs had been puppies, they had been very well trained. That’s part of why they became teacher dogs themselves.
The Big Dogs even made the teacher dogs write reports on their tail chasing, and the teachers did that, too. The teacher dogs carefully measured and documented their tail chasing.
But somehow all that tail chasing didn’t help the puppies learn to fetch.
So the Big Dogs told the teacher dogs to chase their tails twice as much, and to tell the puppies’ mommy dogs all about it.
And when the puppies still didn’t do better, the mommy dogs complained that they didn’t know what was going on. The teacher dogs pointed to the progress reports that they’d written and sent home, but the mommy dogs shrugged, so the Big Dogs knew what was wrong.
The teacher dogs must not be very good at their job. The Big Dogs knew that it was the teacher dogs who needed more training.
The teacher dogs needed to chase their tails even more.
And they needed to show the mommy dogs that they were chasing their tails even more.
The Big Dogs barked at the teacher dogs a lot. The mommy dogs barked at the teacher dogs a lot. Even some of the puppies barked at the teacher dogs a lot!
But guess what? For some reason, the puppies still didn’t get better.
Sometimes it seemed to the teacher dogs like the Big Dogs didn’t really want the puppies to get better at playing fetch. Sometimes it seemed like the Big Dogs just wanted to LOOK like they were trying to help, so they wouldn’t get in trouble with all of the other animals.
The teacher dogs knew the puppies’ problems weren’t really because the teacher dogs hadn’t chased their tails enough. After all, teacher dogs never had to chase their tails before, and most puppies used to play fetch really well.
So that wasn’t it. Something else was wrong.
The teacher dogs noticed that there were all kinds of things that were stopping the puppies from being good at playing fetch. Some puppies had to stay at kennels or went to the pound a lot. Some puppies didn’t have any bones at home. Some mommy and daddy dogs were just flea-bitten mongrels and sometimes they weren’t even there.
Besides, the animal kingdom didn’t seem to care much about playing fetch any more. That made the teacher dogs sad.
But the Big Dogs didn’t want to hear about these things, because they couldn’t change those things, and because talking about them was very unpopular, so the Big Dogs did the thing they could control: they made the teacher dogs chase their tails.
And the teacher dogs, like the obedient little pooches they were, did as they were told.
But secretly, as they kept running around in circles…and as they saw the Big Dogs doing the same things over and over again, blindly surprised that nothing ever really changed…the teacher dogs realized something…
The Big Dogs were the ones who were really chasing their tails.