A Little Drop of Honey

September 6, 2009
Audio: A Little Drop of Honey

On a warm afternoon, on the second floor of a splendid palace that overlooked the market place of the city, sat a king and his minister. While the king was eating some puffed rice on honey, he looked over his land with satisfaction. What a prosperous city he ruled. What a magnificent city

As he was daydreaming, a little drop if honey dripped from his puffed rice onto the window ledge.

The minister was about to call a servant to wipe up the honey, when the king waved a hand to stop him. “Don’t bother, it’s only a little drop of honey, it’s not our problem.”

The minister watched the drop of honey slowly trickle down the window ledge and land on the street below.

Soon, a buzzing fly landed on the sweet drop of honey.

A nearby lizard shot out its long tongue and caught the fly.

The lizard was taken by surprise when a cat leapt on it.

The cat was pounced on by its worst enemy the dog  that  had broken free from its chain.

Meeowing and barking erupted from the street below the King and his minister. The minister was about to call a servant to go and deal with the brawling cat and dog when the king said, ”Relax, the cat and dog belong to the market people. We shouldn’t interfere. It’s not our problem.”

The cat’s owner was horrified to see her cat being attacked by the big bully of a dog and started whacking the dog with her broom. The dog’s owner was horrified to see her dog being attacked by the big bully of a cat and started whacking the cat with her broom.

Soon, people started coming out from their stalls and houses to see what all the screaming and shouting was about. Seeing their friend’s cat being attacked, they joined in berating the dog and its owner. Others, seeing their friend’s dog being attacked by the cat, also joined in. Very quickly, the shouting became violent and a fight broke out in the street.

The worried minister turned to the King but his only comment was, “Not our problem. Here, have some more puffed rice and honey.” The king and his adviser ate as they watched the fray below.

Soon the police were called in to break up the fight, but the people were so angry, each side convinced that they were right, (right about what, they couldn’t remember). They started attacking the policemen. The fight rapidly broke out into a full scale riot.

The king eyed the minister and said, “I know what you are thinking, but the army will handle it. Besides, this is not out problem.”

The riot swiftly escalated into a civil war with looting and destruction all over the city. Buildings were set alight and by nightfall, the magnificent city was reduced to a pile of smoking ashes. The king and his minister stood spellbound, rooted to the spot where they had been watching all day. Their mouths were hanging open in horror.

“Oh…” said the king quietly, “maybe the little drop of honey WAS our problem.”

Dear Story Readers,

This could be a great story for encouraging responsible leadership, as well as taking initiative and nipping problems in the bud.

It’s quite a funny story in the way everything escalates so rapidly. A tip for telling this story is to let the stakes build in your voice with each incident topping the other, while still keeping it light and calm when you come to the sections about the king – because he really doesn’t think it’s his problem!

~ Julie

7 Responses to “A Little Drop of Honey”

  1. Haha I’m literally the only reply to your amazing post!

  2. Excellent story to explain the responsibility of a leader. I just love it. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Please quote the author: an Armenian writer and intellectual, Hovhannes Tumanyan.

  4. Hi Sevag,

    Thanks for your comment. This story is a Burmese/ Thai folktale, though of course there may be an variant from Armenia or another country that I am not aware of. Perhaps Hovhannes Tumanyan was influenced as many great writers and thinkers are by the oral traditional.

  5. Magnificent website. Lots of useful info here. I’m sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks to your sweat!

  6. Hi clickme,

    Thanks! Glad you like it.

    Cheers,

    Sheila

  7. Beautifully written. Can be used for corporate training

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