Always beware of the sting in the tale

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The Independent Online

Today, I am bringing you some more new fables for our time...

Today, I am bringing you some more new fables for our time...

Once upon a time, there was a bear who loved honey, and who would walk for miles through the woods searching for honeycombs.

One day, he finally found a large and luscious amount of honey hanging in a tree, and, having climbed the tree, he was about to tear it open and consume it when a voice said:

"Don't even think of touching that!"

The bear looked round and finally spotted a tiny bee.

"Why should I not take this honey?", he said. "I am as entitled to it as anyone."

"I think I am more entitled to it than you are," said the bee. "After all, I helped make it. It is mine. You did nothing towards it."

"Very true," said the bear. "Nevertheless, I am going to take it. That is what bears do."

"Then I must warn you," said the bee, "that as you are threatening my property, I shall adopt any method of violence to resist you that I think fit."

"You and whose army?" said the bear mockingly, and reached out for the honey.

Immediately, the bee attacked him, along with several hundred other bees who had been listening to the conversation, and the pain of the stings was so great that he fell out of the tree and hurt himself quite badly.

"You haven't seen the last of me," said the bear, hobbling away painfully. "I'll be back for your honey."

"You and whose army?" said the bee.

MORAL: The love of honey is the root of all evil.

*

A lion, an elephant and a giraffe were having an argument about which one of them was really the king of the jungle.

The giraffe said the title should go to the tallest. The lion claimed the title because he was the fastest and fiercest. The elephant said that if you were the strongest, as he was, there were no two ways about it. So to settle the argument, they went to consult the wise old owl.

The owl listened to them all putting forward their claims, and then said: "It is a foolish argument. You, elephant, live in the plain, and so do you, giraffe, while all lions prefer to hunt in the open grasslands. None of you live in the jungle. None of you even like the jungle much. Why would you want to be king of it?"

The animals felt foolish at this, and the lion said: "Then who is the king of the jungle ?"

"In the jungle, the greatest virtue is invisibility," said the owl. "So the king of the jungle is the one with the best camouflage."

"And which one is that?"

"I don't know," said the owl. "I have never seen him."

MORAL: Don't ask someone cleverer than you to settle an argument.

*

Two swans met each other for the first time on a river.

"What kind of a swan are you?" said one to the other.

"I am a Bewick's swan," said the other.

"Buick?" said the first one. "Who is Buick?"

"Not Buick. That is a kind of car. I am a Bewick's swan."

"Either way, how could you let yourself be named after a human?" said the other. "Why let some ignorant man take all the credit for your lovely feathers, your long neck and your grace and beauty?

"Stand up for yourself! Throw off someone else's branding and be yourself! Tell Bewick to get lost!"

"What kind of a swan are you, then?" said the Bewick's swan, taken aback.

"I am a mute swan."

"Then kindly shut up," said the Bewick's swan.

MORAL: If in doubt, leave it out.

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