Fables on lifeless objects.
A small patch of snow finding itself clinging to the top of a rock
which was lying on the topmost height of a very high mountain and
being left to its own imaginings, it began to reflect in this way,
saying to itself: “Now, shall not I be thought vain and proud for
having placed myself—such a small patch of snow—in so lofty a
spot, and for allowing that so large a quantity of snow as I have
seen here around me, should take a place lower than mine? Certainly
my small dimensions by no means merit this elevation. How easily may
I, in proof of my insignificance, experience the same fate as that
which the sun brought about yesterday to my companions, who were
all, in a few hours, destroyed by the sun. And this happened from
their having placed themselves higher than became them. I will flee
from the wrath of the sun, and humble myself and find a place
befitting my small importance." Thus, flinging itself down, it began
to descend, hurrying from its high home on to the other snow; but
the more it sought a low place the more its bulk increased, so that
when at last its course was ended on a hill, it found itself no less
in size than the hill which supported it; and it was the last of the
snow which was destroyed that summer by the sun. This is said for
those who, humbling themselves, become exalted.
The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
edited by Jean Paul Richter, 1880.