The fox knows many tricks, the hedgehog only one. One good one.
-Archilochus, Iambi et Elgi Graeci
This will always and forever be one of my favorite ancient Greek quotes of all time. Of course, I knew bugger all about hedgehogs when I first heard it. Now I know what he was referring to:
Much later, thanks to Terry Pratchett, I also learned that the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
You may remember Archilochus from one of his more famous poems on battlefield valor:
- Some barbarian is waving my shield,
- since I was obliged to
- leave that perfectly good piece of equipment behind
- under a bush.
- But I got away, so what does it matter?
- Life seemed somehow more precious.
- Let the shield go; I can buy another one equally good.
An eminently practical man, rather like the hedgehog he admired.