Friday, November 25, 2011

Fables for Fearful Times: The Ants and The Bees

There once was a beehive inside a hollow tree. At the foot of the tree there was an ant hill. Both groups of insects had highly developed societies, and each boasted that their own form of society was the best.

The Queen Ant declared, "We are much more superior than the silly bees. Our workers are quite strong and we all have well-defined responsibilities. Everyone knows what their job is and how it relates to the smooth functioning of the whole society."

When the Queen Bee got word of the boast, she responded, "Ants! What do they know about socialization? We bees are far more highly civilized. Why, we invented division of labor! And our hives are arranged in neat octagonal cells. Have you ever seen an ant colony? Absolute chaos! Plus, we make honey! Let me see an ant do that!"

More words were exchanged over the next few days. Soon, war was declared so that the two colonies could settle the dispute once and for all.

Battles raged for weeks. Many ants and bees were lost in the conflict. Finally and reluctantly, the ants surrendered.

The Queen Bee announced, "By winning we have shown them which society is superior. To demonstrate how kind and generous a queen I am, we will spare them and teach them to adopt our form of civilization."

So the bees put the ants to work in their hive. However, the ants were unable to move through the honey and they became stuck. As the bees led more ants into the hive, the pile of stuck ants grew and grew. Soon the pile was so large that neither the bees nor the ants could get in or out of the hive. Within just a few days, all the insects were dead.

MORAL: Don't think that what works well for you will necessarily do the same for everyone. Forcing your way of life upon others could be your downfall.

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