A Spider And A Fly


Sir Muhammed Iqbal

One day a spider said to a fly:

"Though you pass this way daily,

My hut has never been honored by you

By making a chance visit inside by you.

Though depriving strangers of a visit does not matter,

Evading the near and dear ones does not look good.

My house will be honored by a visit by you.

A ladder is before you if you decide to step in."

Hearing this the fly said to the spider,

"Sire, you should entice some simpleton thus

This fly would never be pulled into your net;

Whoever climbed your net could never step down."

The spider said, "How strange, you consider me a cheat.

I have never seen a simpleton like you in the world.

I only wanted to entertain you;

I had no personal gain in view.

You have come flying from some unknown distant place;

Resting for a while in my house would not harm you.

Many things in this house are worth your seeing.

Though apparently a humble hut you are seeing,

Dainty drapes are hanging from the doors,

And I have decorated the walls with mirrors.

Beddings are available for guests’ comforts.

Not to everyone’s lot do fall these comforts."

The fly said, "All this may very well be,

But do not expect me to enter your house.

"May God protect me from these soft beds.

Once asleep in them getting up again is impossible."

The spider spoke to itself on hearing this talk:

"How to trap it? This wretched fellow is clever

Many desires are fulfilled with flattery in the world

All in the world are enslaved with flattery."

Thinking this the spider spoke to the fly thus!

"Madam, God has bestowed great honors on you!

Everyone loves your beautiful face,

Even if someone sees you for the first time!

Your eyes look like clusters of glittering diamonds.

God has adorned your beautiful head with a plume.

This beauty, this dress, this elegance, this neatness!

And all this is very much enhanced by singing in flight."

The fly was touched by this flattery

And spoke, "I do not fear you any more.

I hate the habit of declining requests.

Disappointing somebody is bad indeed."

Saying this it flew from its place;

When it got close the spider snapped it.

The spider had been starving for many days.

The fly provided a good leisurely meal.

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