Posted by jlubans on February 01, 2020


TWO Flies, determining to change
their country, and abroad to range,
In order novel sights to see.
Explained their project to a Bee.
⁠To her they stated
Their friend. Sir Parrot, had related
Of foreign parts such wondrous things.
They were resolved to use their wings.
There surely was no great temptation
Longer to stay in this dull nation,
Where everything was cold and dingy.
And folks grew every day more stingy!
"They grudge us e'en the smallest sup;
From us poor Flies they cover up
Both meat and drink; and fence, alas!
Their fruits of every kind with glass.
So are we treated by the wealthy.
⁠And 'mongst the poor fare scarcely better.
Since Spiders there, our foes so stealthy,
⁠Weave treacherous webs, our wings to fetter."
"Well, friends," the home-spun Bee replied,
"'Tis not for
me your scheme to chide,
If you on travelling are bent.
For my part, I am quite content
Here to remain. Folks praise my Honey;
And though it is not always sunny
In this our clime, here is our hive;
And we to earn our food contrive—
Nay, all considered, really thrive.
We have our labours to attend to,
And know that those we ought to bend to;
While folk like you go where you list
And certainly will not be missed.
It matters not where you're abiders,—
None profit by you, save the Spiders."
The bee’s straight talk to make the most of it, if heeded, might result in the flies staying put. Their deal in life is not all that bad but for spiders and rolled up newspapers.
Then again, they may tell the bee to buzz off, they want to see for themselves – make their own mistakes - just how green the grass is on the other side.
Are there not people who will give you bad advice because they are jealous of your opportunity?
Maybe the flies will luck out and pick a happier environment, say a city landfill, in which to gorge to bursting but no dainty webs their “wings to fetter”.
An eternal question what might have been had I made a different decision? What might have been.
You know, the road not taken.
Worse is to live an unquestioned life, accepting what we’re handed and not making our own way. Go along to get along.
In my dotage, it feels like the more a person decides what he or she will do the better the outcome, yea or nay.
There are life decisions best taken not imposed or entrapped.

*Source: Krilov, Fables. Translated from the Russian for Fraser's Magazine In Cooper, Frederic Taber, editor (1864-1937), “An argosy of fables; a representative selection from the fable literature of every age and land”. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company. 1921.)

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© Copyright John Lubans 2020

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