Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
144. THE SHEPHERD AND THE HONEYBEES
Perry 400 (Aphthonius
A story about honeybees and a shepherd, urging us not to set our hearts
on wicked gains.
Some honeybees were making honey in the hollow of an oak tree. A shepherd
discovered the bees' work and attempted to carry away some of the honey.
The honeybees flew all around him, stinging the man with their stings.
In the end the shepherd exclaimed, 'I give up! I don't need the honey
if it means dealing with the bees.'
Trouble awaits you if you pursue ill-gotten gains.
Note: Compare the Greek proverb, 'no honey, no bees' (Erasmus, Adages
1.6.62), which was used to refer to a person who rejected something
pleasant because of some unpleasantness that accompanied it.
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.