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The Bees and the Beekeeper

Once, there was a man who kept many Bees on his farm. His farm had many beehives that
contained honeycombs.

One day, when the Beekeeper was away, a thief crept into his farm and stole all the honeycombs.
Most of the Bees had gone to the meadow to collect honey. The thief took out the honeycombs
and put them away in his basket. The Bees that were in the beehive did not sting the thief.
After a few hours, the Beekeeper returned and went to check on the beehives.
Alas! The beehives were empty “Who could have taken the honeycombs?” he said.
The Beekeeper was confused and looked around to see if anyone was there

By evening, the Bees returned from the pastures and found the Beekeeper near their beehive. The

saw there were no honeycombs! So they stung the Beekeeper, fiercely.

The Beekeeper said to the Bees in anger, “You worthless creatures! You let the man who stole

honeycombs get away with no punishment. I take care of you and you show me your anger!”
The Escaped Man
The rain was falling heavily. It was like driving through a thick curtain of water. He eased off the
accelerator a little. Had to be careful driving on wild nights like these.

The last thing you’d want is to have an accident or breakdown. You just want to be at home on
these stormy nights. The thwack-thwack of the windscreen wipers was hypnotic.

He stared out into the glow of the headlights. The rain sounded like white noise interference as it
battered the car. He was reminded of the opening scenes of a Hitchcock film.

Through the wash of the rain he spotted a figure at the side of the road. The person wore a green
parka and had their thumb jerked out.

Why on earth would anyone be hitchhiking tonight? Surely you would just stay put until the
morning. They must have been in a rush to get where they were going.

He signalled down and pulled over. The hitchhiker climbed in. He shut the door quickly, glad to
be out of the rain. He pulled his hood back and sighed.

He was somewhere in his mid-twenties and had wild red hair and a thick beard.

‘Awful night, eh?’ said the driver.

The hitchhiker held his gaze for a long moment. Drops of rainwater trickled down his face.

‘Yes. Yes it is.’

The driver pulled out and continued through the storm. The hitcher glanced over his shoulder into
the blackness behind them.

‘You okay?’

The hitcher simply nodded.

They drove on in silence for a short while. The BBC radio phone in blaring out from the car’s
speakers filled in for conversation.
They listened to the radio and their own thoughts as they moved on.

‘Where are you headed?’ asked the driver.

‘North.’ The hitcher pointed.

‘Are you travelling to visit friends?’


The driver couldn’t tell if that was a yes or a no. He adjusted his tie nervously. The hitcher stared
at him in his suit and tie.

The hitcher seemed scruffy in comparison in his parka and Pink Floyd t-shirt.

‘Do you work around here?’ asked the hitcher.

‘Yes.’ said the driver. ‘I was stuck late at the office. You know how it is.’

‘No. Not really.’

Again they drifted into silence.

The talk radio show carried on as they drove through the wind and rain. The hitcher shifted in his
seat and stared out the windscreen.

‘No music?’ the hitcher asked.


‘Is there no music we could listen to?’

‘I like the talk radio shows. I’m not really a music fan.’

The hitcher’s eyes glazed over for a moment. Then he spoke.

‘I like listening to music. It calms me down.’

The driver said nothing.

Several miles later there was a news bulletin on the radio. The reporter tried to remain
professional as she read the announcement.

‘We are getting reports that a patient has escaped from a Manchester psychiatric institution. The
man is said to be psychopathic and is said to have a history of murder.’

The hitcher jabbed a finger on the button on the radio panel. Tinny pop music blurted out from the
speakers. The driver stared at his passenger, his question unasked.

‘I hate the news.’ answered the hitcher. ‘It’s so depressing. It brings me down. There is never any
good news, is there?’

The driver did not reply.

‘Don’t worry. I’m not the killer.’ said the hitcher, fidgeting with his coat.

‘No?’ said the driver. ‘I mean, no, of course you aren’t.’

Night Song of a Wandering Shepherd in Where plunging headlong, he forgets them
Asia all.
Such scene of suffering, and of strife,
O moon, is this our mortal life.
Count Giocomo Leopardi In travail man is born;
His birth too oft the cause of death,
And with his earliest breath
What doest thou in heaven, O moon?
He pain and torment feels: e'en from the
Say, silent moon, what doest thou?
Thou risest in the evening; thoughtfully
His parents fondly strive
Thou wanderest o'er the plain,
To comfort him in his distress;
Then sinkest to thy rest again.
And if he lives and grows,
And art thou never satisfied
They struggle hard, as best they may,
With going o'er and o'er the selfsame ways?
With pleasant words and deeds to cheer him
Art never wearied? Dost thou still
Upon these valleys love to gaze?
And seek with kindly care,
How much thy life is like
To strengthen him his cruel lot to bear.
The shepherd's life, forlorn!
This is the best that they can do
He rises in the early dawn,
For the poor child, however fond and true.
He moves his flock along the plain;
But wherefore give him life?
The selfsame flocks, and streams, and herbs
Why bring him up at all,
He sees again;
If _this_ be all?
Then drops to rest, the day's work o'er;
If life is nought but pain and care,
And hopes for nothing more.
Why, why should we the burden bear?
Tell me, O moon, what signifies his life
O spotless moon, such _is_
To him, thy life to thee? Say, whither tend
Our mortal life, indeed;
My weary, short-lived pilgrimage,
But thou immortal art,
Thy course, that knows no end?
Nor wilt, perhaps, unto my words give heed.
And old man, gray, infirm,
Yet thou, eternal, lonely wanderer,
Half-clad, and barefoot, he,
Who, thoughtful, lookest on this earthly
Beneath his burden bending wearily,
O'er mountain and o'er vale,
Must surely understand
Sharp rocks, and briars, and burning sand,
What all our sighs and sufferings mean;
In wind, and storm, alike in sultry heat
What means this death,
And in the winter's cold,
This color from our cheeks that fades,
His constant course doth hold;
This passing from the earth, and losing sight
On, on, he, panting, goes,
Of every dear, familiar scene.
Nor pause, nor rest he knows;
Well must thou comprehend
Through rushing torrents, over watery
The reason of these things; must see
The good the morning and the evening
He falls, gets up again,
And ever more and more he hastes,
Thou knowest, thou, what love it is
Torn, bleeding, and arrives at last
That brings sweet smiles unto the face of
Where ends the path,
Where all his troubles end;
The meaning of the Summer's glow,
A vast abyss and horrible,
And of the Winter's frost and snow, But when _I_ sit upon the grass
And of the silent, endless flight of Time. And in the friendly shade, upon my mind
A thousand things to thee their secrets yield, A weight I feel, a sense of weariness,
That from the simple shepherd are That, as I sit, doth still increase
concealed. And rob me of all rest and peace.
Oft as I gaze at thee, And yet I wish for nought,
In silence resting o'er the desert plain, And have, till now, no reason to complain.
Which in the distance borders on the sky, What joy, how much I cannot say;
Or following me, as I, by slow degrees, But thou _some_ pleasure dost obtain.
My flocks before me drive; My joys are few enough;
And when I gaze upon the stars at night, But not for that do I lament.
In thought I ask myself, Ah, couldst thou speak, I would inquire:
'Why all these torches bright? Tell me, dear flock, the reason why
What mean these depths of air, Each weary breast can rest at ease,
This vast, this silent sky, While all things round him seem to please;
This nightly solitude? And what am I?' And yet, if _I_ lie down to rest,
Thus to myself I talk; and of this grand, I am by anxious thoughts oppressed?
Magnificent expanse,
And its untold inhabitants, Perhaps, if I had wings
And all this mighty motion, and this stir Above the clouds to fly,
Of things above, and things below, And could the stars all number, one by one,
No rest that ever know, Or like the lightning leap from rock to rock,
But as they still revolve, must still return I might be happier, my dear flock,
Unto the place from which they came,-- I might be happier, gentle moon!
Of this, alas, I find nor end nor aim! Perhaps my thought still wanders from the
But thou, immortal, surely knowest all. truth,
_This_ I well know, and feel; When I at others' fortunes look:
From these eternal rounds, Perhaps in every state beneath the sun,
And from my being frail, Or high, or low, in cradle or in stall,
Others, perchance, may pleasure, profit gain; The day of birth is fatal to us all.
To _me_ life is but pain.

My flock, now resting there, how happy

That knowest not, I think, thy misery!
O how I envy thee!
Not only that from suffering
Thou seemingly art free;
That every trouble, every loss,
Each sudden fear, thou canst so soon forget;
But more because thou sufferest
No weariness of mind.
When in the shade, upon the grass reclined,
Thou seemest happy and content,
And great part of the year by thee
In sweet release from care is spent.