A Peasant had in his garden an Apple-Tree which bore no fruit
but only served as a harbor for the sparrows and grasshoppers.
He resolved to cut it down, and taking his axe in his hand, made
a bold stroke at its roots. The grasshoppers and sparrows
entreated him not to cut down the tree that sheltered them, but
to spare it, and they would sing to him and lighten his labors.
He paid no attention to their request, but gave the tree a second
and a third blow with his axe. When he reached the hollow of the
tree, he found a hive full of honey. Having tasted the honeycomb,
he threw down his axe, and looking on the tree as sacred, took
great care of it.
Self-interest alone moves some men.
(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)