Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Information

Author: Phaedrus - 41 AD

Translated into English
  by C. Smart - 1887

Source: The Fables of Phaedrus

Original title (Latin):
Apes et Fuci Vespa Iudice

Country of origin: Italy

Translations

English - aligned

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The Bees and the Drone

Phaedrus / C. Smart

Up in a lofty oak the Bees
Had made their honey-combs: but these
The Drones asserted they had wrought.
Then to the bar the cause was brought
Before the wasp, a learned chief,
Who well might argue either brief,
As of a middle nature made.
He therefore to both parties said:
"You're not dissimilar in size,
And each with each your color vies,
That there's a doubt concerning both:
But, lest I err, upon my oath,
'Hives for yourselves directly choose,
And in the wax the work infuse,
That, from the flavor and the form,
We may point out the genuine swarm."
The Drones refuse, the Bees agree-
Then thus did Justice Wasp decree:
" Who can, and who cannot, is plain,
So take, ye Bees, your combs again."
This narrative had been suppress'd
Had not the Drones refused the test.