THE TREES ELECT A KING
The trees came together so that they could anoint a king to
rule over them. 'Please be our ruler,' they said to the olive
tree. The olive tree said in reply, 'Why would I abandon the
richness of my oil, which is valued by both gods and mortals,
in order to become the leader of the trees?' They came to the
fig tree and said, 'Agree to rule over us.' The fig tree answered,
'Why would I relinquish my sweetness and delightful fruit in
order to become the leader of the trees?' They came to the vine,
hoping that the vine might rule over them, but the vine answered,
'Why would I relinquish the wine which brings joy both to God
and to mankind?' And so the vine refused to be their leader.
The trees then said to the thorn bush, 'Rule over us.' The thorn
bush replied, 'If indeed you have resolved to make me your king,
come and rest under my shadow, and if you refuse, a fire will
come forth from the thorn bush and devour the cedars of Lebanon!'