The Fables of Phædrus
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.
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