Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Ivan Krylov - 1806

Translated into English

Original title (Russian):
Пчела и мухи

Country of origin: Russia


English - aligned

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The Two Flies and the Bee

Ivan Krylov

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."