The Ant and the Bee
While passing overhead, a bee saw an ant on the ground. The ant was struggling to carry large grains of wheat into his nest. The bee, landing next to him on the ground, said, “O, poor ant! Why do you work so hard? I fly easily wherever I want, and I can bite people and animals and eat any food I choose.
The ant did not answer the bee, and with difficulty and sweat, he continued to carry the seeds to his nest.
The next day, the ant passed in front of the butcher’s shop. Suddenly, he saw the same bee buzzing around, then it landed on a piece of meat and began to eat. At the same time, the bee looked at the ant and said, “You miserable ants! See how easy it is for me to find food.” Meanwhile, the butcher noticed the bee. He swatted it with the edge of his knife and it fell to the ground, wounded and half dead.
The ant immediately approached and took hold of the bee’s foot in order to drag him to his nest and eat him.
The bee asked the ant, with a sigh and a moan, “Where are you taking me?” The ant replied coldly, “Anyone so arrogant, conceited, selfish and greedy, who does whatever he wants and goes wherever he wants to go, is eventually taken somewhere where he does not want to go.”
Jawāmi ul-Hikāyāt (“Collections of Stories and Illustrations of Histories) is a famous collection of Persian anecdotes written in the early 13th century.
The book was an encyclopedia of anecdotage containing mines of interesting information, namely on historical information often not found elsewhere. The entire text of this 2,500-page book is yet to be edited and printed.