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Aesop's Fables: The Charcoal Burner and the Fuller

Updated on April 2, 2013

The Fable

There was once a charcoal burner who lived and worked by himself. A fuller, however, happened to come and settle in the same neighborhood; and the charcoal burner, having made his acquaintance and finding he was an agreeable sort of fellow, asked him if he would come and share his house. "We shall get to know one another better that way," he said, "and, besides, our household expenses would be diminished." The fuller thanked him, but replied, "I couldn't think of it, sir. Why, everything I take such pains to whiten would be blackened in no time by your charcoal."

The Analysis

Above we see two men, each of an opposing profession. A charcoal burner, and a fuller. (A fuller is a person that bleaches wool cloths to make them white.) The fuller refuses cohabitation on the grounds that his life's work would be negated.

Taken to a spiritual level, this could come to mean a relationship with a person whose actions completely and prohibitively disrupt the lifestyle the individual would hope to lead. For example, if a man enjoys traveling, and makes it his life's goal to travel the world and experience various cultures, he ought not to marry a partner who desires to live a quiet, local life. There are many examples of this idea, the above is just one of them.

The Discussion

If you have any other ideas to point out, please, please make mention of them in the comments section below. If there is something important that I've missed, I will add it to the article and cite your comment with thanks for providing the information (with your permission).

If there is another interpretation, please share it, I'm quite interested to hear it and, again, may use it to improve my article and cite your comment (with your permission).


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      Dan 5 years ago

      When I first read it, I thought of it as don't feel so superior to others that you close yourself off to new experiences. But yours makes more sense.