Not a native speaker, part deux

Charles Stross happens to write the following words:

I’ll probably get over my dog-in-the-manger mood soon enough

— and I spend a few seconds thinking “Dog-in-the-manger? Whaa?”, and then form the following hypothesis (to be imagined in overhyperexcited George Carlin voice):

Okay, manger. Manger. That’s where the tale had Jesus in, okay? So could it be that this shepherd or wise man or something comes and he’s all like “Oh boy, oh boy, I’m gonna see the King of Jews! Oh boy oh boy —” and he peeks over the edge of the manger and there’s just a dog in there, Joseph’s pet mutt or something. A dog in the manger. A dog in the manger. What a bummer. Awful. Just awful. That’s what it means, huh? Huh?

— and then I google and find it’s about a fable of Aesop’s instead.

Can’t get over the image of a chihuahua in swaddling clothes, with a halo on and some myrrh by its side, though. (Then again, it would be worse if the picture stuck in my mind was a grossly immense Saint Bernard wrapped in a urine-stained sheet, drooling, hanging over every side of a tiny creaking manger, breath wheezing, while Wise Man A screams at Wise Man B “Left at Albuquerque! I told you, didn’t I? But no, you wanted to read the rabbit entrails!”)

(Because, as you know, they used haruspices before the invention of the highway map.)

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