Imposters

Beware the imposter. Photo by David Hablufctzel.

“I am a honeybee,” the cunning wasp lied.
“But how shall I know you?” the wise man replied.
“Just look,” cried the wasp, “I’m yellow and black
With wings to fly and a stinging attack.”

“Don’t you get it, old man? Even a fool could see—
These are the traits of the honeybee.”
“Ah, yes,” sighed the man, “though it seems sort of funny;
If you’re truly a bee—make me some honey.”

So, too, in life some imposters will claim
Undeserved glory, unwarranted fame.
And swindlers will lie, it has ever been so;
But fruits do not—that’s how you’ll know.


Now sleep, I thought.  It was after 11 pm, and I was ready to turn the ol’ brain off and call it a day.  I have to get up early for work so I try not to stay up too late, and it was already later than normal.  I had just finished jotting down thoughts for the poem “Dining with Devils” and reached over and turned the night stand light off for good! 

As I sank back into the pillow, an image came into my mind.  It was the black and white cartoon cutout I have on my office wall at work about a beekeeper and honeybees.  I am a hobby beekeeper and maintain several hives; and the cartoon has sparked many bee-related conversations with coworkers.  As I lay there in bed, I thought that it might be good to have something bee related next to the cartoon that prompted more serious discussion.  But that would have to wait for another day. . .

Then the thought “‘I am a honeybee,’ the cunning wasp lied.”  No, no, I told myself, I need to sleep.  But I realized long ago, that thoughts are fleeting and specific word choice is even more fleeting.  So, on went the light to scribble it down.  Back in the dark, I lay there thinking about many of the questions people have asked me about bees.  One common question is “What is the difference between honeybees and wasps?”  and another “Can you tell the difference between honeybees and wasps?”  Yes, a honeybee and a wasp look different, but they have many similarities; and I have come to discover that a lot of people don’t know which is which.  But, even if you don’t know by sight which is which, at the end of the summer bees will have made honey and wasps will not.  It is like the scripture Jesus told, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matt 7:20).  Then the thought, “Looks may lie, it has ever been so; but fruits do not, that’s how you’ll know.”  Back on went the light.

An hour later, I turned off the light. . .again.  Yes, it was much later than I wanted it to be; but that is a commitment I have tried to keep with Him who is the giver of inspiration.

Written: January 4, 2017

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