Fleeing a deadly unicorn, a man climbed a tree beside a lake.
Four snakes were slithering around the lake, and a dragon rose up from the watery depths, its mouth gaping open.
Then the man saw two mice, one white and one black, gnawing at the tree's roots.
How could he escape all these evils?
Then he looked up and saw honey dripping down from higher in the tree. As the honey fell into his mouth, he forgot all about the dangers.
The tree toppled and he fell into the dragon's jaws, but his only thought was of the honey.
Inspired by: Mille Fabulae et Una, a collection of Latin fables that I've edited, free to read online. I am not translating the Latin here; instead, I am just telling a 100-word version of the fable.
Notes: This is fable 631 in the book, which is Perry 609. For more information, see: The Parable of ‘The Man in the Well’ .
Here is an illustration from a medieval Arabic source: