Aesop's Fable - The Hare With Many Friends
A Hare was very popular with the other animals in the jungle who all claimed to be her friends.
One day she heard the hounds approaching her and hoped to escape them by the aid of her Friends. So, she went to the horse, and asked him to carry her away from the hounds on his back. But he declined, stating that he had important work to do for his master. "He felt sure," he said, "that all her other friends would come to her assistance."
She then applied to the bull, and hoped that he would repel the hounds with his horns. The bull replied: "I am very sorry, but I have an appointment with a lady; but I feel sure that our friend the goat will do what you want." The goat, however, feared that his back might do her some harm if he took her upon it. The ram, he felt sure, was the proper friend to ask for help.
So she went to the ram and told him the case. The ram replied: "Another time, my dear friend. I do not like to interfere on the present occasion, as hounds have been known to eat sheep as well as hares." The Hare then applied, as a last hope, to the calf, who regretted that he was unable to help her, as he did not like to take the responsibility upon himself, as so many older persons than himself had declined the task. By this time the hounds were quite near, and the Hare took to her heels and luckily escaped.
Moral of the story :
He that has many friends, has no friends.
On the nature of friendship, I'm realizing I'm the friend you call when you need something but that generally doesn't translate into "skin in the game" action when I need something in return. Perhaps my lack of social grace and desire to 'hang out' makes people around me feel that they are not worth my time (which is anything but the case.) In general, I'm pretty comfortable with my absence of social butterfly-ness but I am finding that a pattern in my life is to be surrounded with those who call me "friend" who then turn around and immediately believe the worst about me when it suits them.
Gotta get some better friends, yeah? Or be happy with the three I have. Or maybe both.