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P. V. Ramaswami Raju

The Wasp and the Prince

A wasp, named Pin Tail, was long in quest of some deed that would make him for ever famous. So one day he went into the king's palace, and stung the little prince, who was in bed. The prince awoke with loud cries. The king and his courtiers rushed in to see what had happened. The prince was yelling, and the wasp was stinging him again and again.

The king tried to catch him, and was stung; each of his courtiers tried in his turn to catch him, and was stung. Then the whole royal household rushed in, the news soon spread into the city, and the people flocked round the palace.

After much ado, the wasp was caught and flung on the ground, where he was severely hurt. He tried, however, to hold hard to a nook in the chamber, till the evening, when the servants that came to make the prince's bed said to one another, "The noise in the city has not yet ceased. They are still proclaiming with trumpet and drum the great event in the palace to-day."

"Yes," said one of the servants, "I hear their words clearly."

"What do they say?" said another.

"Why," said the former, "they say, a wasp named Pin Tail entered the palace, in spite of the guards, who watched at every gate, and stung the prince, the king, and his courtiers."

"The whole city," said his comrade, "is still in an uproar—all business suspended. Everybody is crying, 'Pin Tail, Pin Tail.' Never did such an event happen before!"

The wasp, which was about to die, heard these words, and expired exclaiming—"So, after all, Pin Tail hath done something which never happened before! That is gratifying! A name without fame is like fire without flame. Nothing like attracting notice at any cost."