A Tyrant.Once there lived a tyrannical king. One of his laws prohibited the people from talking loudly. Even when this law had been put in force, he still was not satisfied: so he ordered the law to be enforced among the animals.
One of his officers once heard a frog croak. The officer caught the frog and carried it before the king. The king began the trial by saying, “Don’t you know that there is a law prohibiting men and animals from making a noise?”
“Yes, your Majesty,” said the frog, “but I could not help laughing to see the snail carrying his house with him wherever he goes.”
The king was satisfied with the frog’s answer, so he dismissed him and called the snail. “Why do you always carry your house with you?” asked the king.
“Because,” said the snail, “I am always afraid the firefly is going to burn it.” The king next ordered the firefly to appear before him. The king then said to the firefly, “Why do you carry fire with you always?”
“Because the mosquitoes will bite me if I do not carry this fire,” said the firefly. This answer seemed reasonable to the king, so he summoned the mosquito. When the mosquito was asked why he was always trying to bite some one, he said, “Why, sir, I cannot live without biting somebody.”
The king was tired of the long trial, so with the mosquito he determined to end it. After hearing the answer of the mosquito, he said, “From now on you must not bite anybody. You have no right to do so.” The mosquito tried to protest the sentence, but the king seized his mallet and determined to crush the mosquito with it. When the mosquito saw what the king was going to do, he alighted on the forehead of the king. The king became very angry at this insult, and hit the mosquito hard. He killed the mosquito, but he also put an end to his own tyranny.
MORAL: It is foolish to carry matters to extremes.