Once upon a time, there was a gnat who was flying over a meadow. He saw a bull grazing on the grass and decided to land on his horn. He thought he was very brave and clever.
He stayed on the bull’s horn for a long time, enjoying the view and the breeze. He felt proud of himself and wanted to show off. He said to the bull, “Hey, do you know that I am on your horn? Do you mind if I stay here for a while? I hope I am not bothering you.”
The bull did not notice the gnat at first. He was busy eating and did not care about the tiny insect. He said, “Who are you? Where are you? I can’t see you or hear you. You are too small and insignificant. You can stay on my horn or go away. It makes no difference to me. You are not bothering me at all.”
The gnat was offended by the bull’s words. He thought he was very important and powerful. He said, “How can you say that? I am not small and insignificant. I am a gnat, the king of the insects. I can fly faster than the wind and sting harder than a bee. I can make you feel pain and discomfort. You should respect me and fear me.”
The bull laughed at the gnat’s boast. He said, “You are a gnat, the smallest of the insects. You can’t fly faster than the wind or sting harder than a bee. You can’t make me feel pain or discomfort. You are nothing but a nuisance and a pest. You have no power over me. You should be humble and quiet.”
The gnat was angry at the bull’s laugh. He wanted to prove him wrong and hurt him. He said, “You are a bull, the biggest of the animals. You are slow and clumsy. You can’t fly or sting. You can only eat and sleep. You are lazy and stupid. You have no skill or talent. I will show you what I can do. I will bite you and make you suffer.”
The gnat flew off the bull’s horn and attacked him. He bit him on his nose, his ears, his eyes, and his mouth. He tried to make him bleed and cry. He thought he was hurting him and winning.
But the bull did not feel the gnat’s bites. He was too big and strong. He did not bleed or cry. He did not care about the gnat’s attack. He said, “You are wasting your time and energy. You are not hurting me or winning. You are only annoying me and losing. You should stop and leave me alone.”
The gnat did not listen to the bull. He continued to bite him and annoy him. He thought he was brave and clever. He said, “I will not stop or leave you alone. I will keep biting you and annoying you. I will make you beg for mercy and admit defeat. I will show you who is the boss.”
The bull shook his head and sighed. He said, “You are foolish and stubborn. You will not make me beg for mercy or admit defeat. You will not show me who is the boss. You will only harm yourself and regret it. You should be wise and careful.”
The gnat did not heed the bull’s warning. He kept biting him and harming himself. He did not realize that he was losing his strength and his life. He did not notice that a spider was watching him and waiting for him. He said, “I will not be wise or careful. I will be bold and reckless. I will bite you until you die or run away. I will be the victor and the hero.”
The bull shrugged his shoulders and walked away. He said, “You are not bold or reckless. You are silly and foolish. You will not bite me until I die or run away. You will not be the victor or the hero. You will be the loser and the prey.”
The gnat was too proud and arrogant to admit his mistake. He followed the bull and bit him one last time. He said, “I am not silly or foolish. I am smart and brave. I am the winner and the champion. I am the gnat, the king of the insects.”
But as he said those words, he felt a sharp pain in his back. He looked behind him and saw a spider. The spider had caught him in his web and was about to eat him. He said, “You are not smart or brave. You are dumb and cowardly. You are not the winner or the champion. You are the loser and the food. You are not the gnat, the king of the insects. You are the gnat, the snack of the spider.”
The gnat realized his mistake and regretted his pride. He wished he had listened to the bull and been humble and quiet. He learned a hard lesson that day:
Moral: Pride goes before a fall.