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VARIOUS TEXTS: THE BUSY BEE AND THE WELL-MEANING WASP

A moral story for Free Enterprise

Once upon a time, there lived a Busy Bee, who worked all day to feed her family.
In the same meadow, there also lived a Well-Meaning Wasp, who was interested in the brotherhood of Insects, the Redistribution of Honey, and other things of' that kind.
He didn't, you understand, produce any honey himself - privately, he thought that honey was the root of all evil - but he was full of ideas about where it should go. (And not all of them were bad, at all).
"Bee" said the Well-Meaning Wasp, one year, "what about handing over some of your surplus honey for the benefit of the less fortunate insects of the field?"
"Fair enough"', said the Bee; and made a useful contribution.
Next year, the Well-Meaning Wasp was back.
"Bee" he said, "administrative costs have risen something rotten, and the meadow economy is in a bad way - thanks entirely to the mismanagement of my predecessor, you know - so how about a few more combs this year?"
The Busy Bee thought about the honey her family would need for food that winter. Then she looked at the Wasp, who was stropping his sting on a handy pebble. "All right" she said, "I suppose we must all tighten our belts."
Next year, the Wasp (who looked a little fatter, somehow, these days) had a distinctly menacing glitter- in his eye.
"Bee, Bee," he said, "me and the lads didn't think much of last year's honey. What's more, we've had to take on more staff to advise on sharing it out. You produce a double quantity this year - or we'll take over your hive for you."
"Well," said the Bee - you can't have the bees you need to produce honey, unless you've saved up some honey from the year before. And you did take rather a lot, last time."
"Honeyist nonsense," growled the Wasp, going Pink. I'll have you know that as Insectretary of State For Honey, I can take as much as I jolly well want. You double your production, or I'll start blaming you for everything that goes wrong in the meadow."
("So what else is new?" thought the Bee, sighing to herself.)
She returned home. There was nothing to eat. Her disillusioned family were out at the pictures (there was a bee-feature showing that week). And by the time the Wasp returned to collect, she had retired to a beesylum in a nervous and overtaxed condition.
AND THAT YEAR, NOBODY GOT - ANY HONEY-NOT EVEN THE WELL-MEANING WASP.

MORAL: Any child know senough not to kill geese that lay golden eggs, but some politicians still haven't caught on.

By Taylor Woodron, from People by G. Ulmer und V. Rieger, Diesterweg Verlag 1979, pp. 116/17

Assignments:
1. 'The Busy Bee and the Well Meaning Wasp' is a fable. What are' the main characteristics of a fablel? Refer to any well-known fable and try to work out its most important features.
2. Apply your findings to 'The Busy Bee and the Well-Meaning Wasp'.
a) Animals stand for persons. Compare the bee with the wasp. Make a list of characteristic features and try to match these characteristics in contrasting pairs.
b) A Moral at the end. What would you consider to be the moral of the fable? Compare your version with the actual version.
3. How does Taylor Woodrow characterize socialism? (In order to answer this question concentrate on the new-coined words, puns and metaphors.)
4. Apply the moral of this fable to the situation in our country. Find parallels concerning our politicians and the economy in our country.



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