Jupiter and the Bee

In days of yore, when the world was young, a bee that had stored her combs with a bountiful harvest flew up to heaven to present as a sacrifice an offering of honey. Jupiter was so delighted with the gift that he promised to give her whatsoever she should ask for. She therefore besought him, saying; "O glorious Jove, maker and master of me, poor bee, give thy servant a sting, that when any one approaches my hive to take the honey, I may kill him on the spot."

Jupiter, out of his love to man, was angry at her request, and thus answered her: "Your prayer shall not be granted in the way you wish, but the sting which you ask for you shall have. When anyone comes to take away your honey and you attack him, the wound shall be fatal not to him but to you, for your life shall go with your sting."