Phaedrus’ THE BEES AND THE DRONES, THE WASP SITTING AS JUDGE.

Posted by jlubans on June 21, 2021

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Caption: Pooh Bear gets dealt vigilante justice; no day in court!

Some Bees had made their combs in a lofty oak.
Some lazy Drones asserted that these belonged to them.
The cause was brought into court, the Wasp sitting as judge; who, being perfectly acquainted with either race, proposed to the two parties these terms: “Your shape is not unlike, and your colour is similar; so that the affair clearly and fairly becomes a matter of doubt.
But that my sacred duty may not be at fault through insufficiency of knowledge, each of you take hives, and pour your productions into the waxen cells; that from the flavour of the honey and the shape of the comb, the maker of them, about which the present dispute exists, may be evident.”
The Drones decline; the proposal pleases the Bees.
Upon this, the Wasp pronounces sentence to the following effect: “It is evident who cannot, and who did, make them; wherefore, to the Bees I restore the fruits of their labours.”
This Fable I should have passed by in silence, if the Drones had not refused the proposed stipulation.

With this “proposed stipulation”, we are told, Phædrus alluded to some who had laid claim to the authorship of his Fables, and had refused a challenge given by him, such as that here given to the Drones, to test the correctness of their assertions.
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We are told “Ability proves itself by deeds.” No question but only if you get a fair hearing. I think of the political writing of the past few years and how accomplished deeds go unrecognized. When someone you despise does a good job give him or her credit. Don’t be a shmuck.
When I look back on my contrarian career and am reminded of some who sought to undermine good progress, it would have been nice to have a Missouri Wasp judge with the challenge, “If you can do it better, show me.”

*Source: The Fables of Phaedrus Translated into English Verse. Phaedrus. Christopher Smart, A. M. London. G. Bell and Sons, Ltd. 1913.

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© Copyright all text John Lubans 2021

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