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  • The fables of Mkhitar Gosh

    An assembly took place among the plants regarding which of them was suited to be their king. Some said: “The date-palm, because it is tall, and has sweet fruit.” But the grape vine opposed this, saying: “I am joy, and worthy of the kingship.” The fig said: “I [should be king] for I am sweet tasting.” But the buck-thorn said: “I am a striker, and as such, am worthy.” Thus did each praise himself excessively and say that he needed nothing from others. Now the date-palm, meditating, realized that they did not consent to make these [others] king for they did not want others to grow rich among them. So he said: “I am better suited to be king.” All bore witness to this, saying: “You are tall, and have sweet fruit, but you lack two things. For you do not bear fruit when we do, and are unsuited for building, especially since your height makes you displeasing to many.” [The date-palm] responded: “I shall reign making you princes, and at the end of my term I shall enthrone your sons.” And so he set up the order of the kingdom, making the grape vine their wine steward (ginepet); the fig, consul (hipatos); the buck-thorn, executioner, and the pomegranate, physician and other fruits for maintenance: the pine for building, the forest for burning, the blackberry [bush] for a prison, and instructed then to work for benefit each other.

    This fable illustrates that no one can become prominent or rich without some measure of humility and cannot ascend without admitting one’s shortcomings and thus be willing to cooperate with others and receive the help of others. And further, one may patiently wait for long term benefits provided one is recognized and given a share of present honor and prosperity.

    Mkhitar Gosh wrote many short fables. This is only one that I thought was very good.
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    Published on October 4, 2007 · Filed under: , Humility;
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