Posted by jlubans on September 17, 2020


SEEING how a Bee was busying itself about a flower, an Eagle said to it, with disdain,
"How I pity thee, poor thing, with all thy toil and skill!
All through the summer, thousands of thy fellows are moulding honeycomb in the hive. But who will afterwards separate and distinguish the results of thy labour?
I must confess, I do not understand what pleasure thou canst take in it.
To labour all one's life, and to have in viewwhat?
Why, to die without having achieved distinction, exactly like all the rest.
What a difference there is between us!
When I spread my sounding pinions (wings), and am borne along near the clouds, I am everywhere a cause of alarm.
The birds do not dare to rise from the ground ; the shepherds fear to repose beside their well-fed flocks; and the swift does, having seen me, will not venture out into the plains."
But the Bee replies,
To thee be glory and honour!
May Jupiter continue to pour on thee his bounteous gifts!
I, however, born to work for the common good, do not seek to make my labour distinguished. But, when I look at our honeycombs, I am consoled by the thought that there are in them a few drops of my own honey."
Fortunate is he, the field of whose labour is conspicuous!
He gains added strength from the knowledge that the whole world witnesses his exploits.
But how deserving of respect is he who, in humble obscurity, hopes for neither fame nor honour in return for all his labour, for all his loss of rest who is animated by this thought only, that he works for the common good!
Our bee is happy,
humble and content, he envies not the braggadocious eagle.
Many of us bloggers under the long tail of the Internet (a scatological image, not?) labor away likewise. Someone said, never have so many written so much to be read by so few (for free.)
Well, Im not as gruntled or diffident as the collaborative bee; indeed, I am disgruntled by the congestion in the beehive of the Interne.
A bit like being in a traffic jam and sticking my head out the window, hollering: Why the hell arent all you idiots home?
I remember the Internets pre-congestion days of the 1990s, when every blog or web page had some kind of welcome and following. Of course, it was all a novelty back then.
Most of those early web pages are a now like burned out satellites circling the earth.
That said, while I know how to get more traffic to the blog, I really do not want to.
I eschew ginning up controversy to attract eyeballs. Nor do I want to promote beyond the little broadcasting I already do. I could pay to advertise, but why?
So, like the bee, I write this blog largely for myself and for the occasional reader who might enjoy something (the bees own drops of honey) Ive written for the common good.

*Source: Krilof and his fables, by Krylov, Ivan Andreevich, 1768-1844; Ralston, William Ralston Shedden, 1828-1889. Tr. London, 1869.

2020 Copyright All text. John Lubans

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