The proud beetle

There once was a beetle which came upon a lump of cow dung. He worked himself into it and liking what he saw, he invited his friends to join him in building a city in it. After working feverishly for a few days they built a magnificent city in the dung and feeling very proud of their achievement they decided to elect the first beetle as their king.

Now to honour their new king they organised a grand parade through their city. While these impressive proceedings were taking place, an elephant happened to pass by and seeing the lump of cow dung he lifted his foot to avoid stepping on it.

The king beetle saw the elephant and angrily shouted at the huge beast. “Hey you! Don’t you have any respect for royalty? Don’t you know it is rude to lift your leg over my majestic head? Apologies at once or I’ll have you punished.” The elephant looked down and said, “Your most gracious majesty, I humbly crave your pardon.” Thus saying he knelt down on the lump of cow dung and crushed king, city, citizens and pride in one act of obeisance.

– K. Sri Dhammananda, Theravada.

Author: Bite-Size Dhamma

I'm a Buddhist layperson, trying to live well and skilfully with compassion, generosity, and discernment. I work in the field of housing law and homelessness. I have a beautiful kind wife and a very cute dog.

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