One sunny day, a lion was resting under a shady tree, enjoying the breeze. He heard a buzzing sound near his ear and opened his eyes. He saw a tiny gnat flying around his head.
“Go away, you annoying insect!” the lion roared. “You are nothing but a nuisance. Don’t you know who I am? I am the king of the beasts, and you are the weakest of all creatures.”
The gnat was not afraid of the lion’s words. He said, “You are wrong, mighty lion. You are not stronger than me. You may have sharp teeth and claws, but I have a powerful sting. And I can fly faster than you can run. If you want to prove your strength, let us fight and see who will win.”
The lion laughed at the gnat’s challenge. He thought it was a joke. He said, “Very well, little gnat. I accept your challenge. But don’t blame me if you get hurt. I will show you who is the real king.”
The gnat flew at the lion and stung him on the nose. The lion felt a sharp pain and tried to swat the gnat with his paw. But he missed and scratched his own face. The gnat stung him again on the ear. The lion roared in anger and shook his head. But he could not catch the gnat, who was too quick and agile.
The gnat kept stinging the lion, who became more and more furious. He bit and clawed himself, trying to get rid of the gnat. He rolled on the ground, kicked his legs, and tossed his mane. He made a lot of noise and dust, but he could not harm the gnat at all.
At last, the lion was exhausted and bleeding from his wounds. He gave up the fight and lay still on the ground. The gnat flew away, proud of his victory. He said, “You see, lion, you are not the strongest of all. I have defeated you with my skill and courage. You should not look down on others, no matter how small they are.”
The gnat was so happy that he forgot to be careful. He flew into a spider’s web and got stuck. He struggled to free himself, but it was too late. The spider came and wrapped him in silk. He said, “Hello, gnat. You may have beaten the lion, but you are no match for me. I am the master of this web, and you are my dinner.”
The gnat realized his mistake. He said, “Oh, what a fool I am! I have won a great battle, but I have lost my life. I have been too proud and careless. I should have been humble and wise.”
The spider said, “That is a good lesson, gnat. But it is too late for you to learn it. You have met your fate, and I have met my feast.”
And with that, the spider ate the gnat.
Moral: Pride comes before a fall.