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King Suleiman and the locusts

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

Suleiman sat on his throne and invited the animals to come in. When the wolf entered, the king said “Peace be upon you,” but he did not raise from his throne. When the hyena came in, he also said “Peace to you, please come in,” but again he did not rise. He displayed the same disrespectful behaviour when the lion came in.

Then the little locust entered the room. Immediately the king rose from his throne and said “Welcome, welcome, please come in.” The three great animals were insulted and humiliated. “Are we dung under your feet?” they cried. “You rose for this little fellow and not for us? What is the matter with you?”

Suleiman said: “Do you want to wage war to those little fellows?” “Certainly,” the beasts said. The sheikh of the locusts said to his people: “As soon as they come you enter their ears. Now stay there for the rest of the day.”

The battlefield lasted long but the big animals became finally dizzy from the locusts crawling in their ears. They gave up. Suleiman then told them: “Now you understand why I gave greetings to those little ones.”

Pay heed to little folk

They are stronger than great ones.

Arab Educational Institute, Moral Stories from Palestine. Culture and Palestine Series, Bethlehem 1999. For more information:

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