A Spider And A Fly – Allama Muhammad 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