The Mouse and the Camel

Funny how situations rarely change throughout history. I wonder who was being checked by Rumi here. Did he too live in a time where mere rats...erm mice... wanted to lead camels?
The Mouse and the Camel

A mouse caught hold of a camel's lead rope
in his two forelegs and walked off with it,
imitating the camel drivers.

The camel went along,
letting the mouse feel heroic.
"Enjoy yourself,"
he thought, " I have something to teach you, presently."

They came to the edge of a great river.
The mouse was dumbfounded.

Step forward into the river. You are my leader.
Don't stop here."
"I'm afraid of being drowned."

The camel walked into the water. "It's only just about the knee."
"Your knee! Your knee
is a hundred times over my head!"

"Well, maybe you shouldn't
be leading a camel, Stay with those like yourself.
A Mouse has nothing really to say to a camel."

"Would you help me get across?"

You are not a prophet, but go humble on the way of the prophets,
and you can arrive where they are. Don't try to steer the boat.
don't open up a shop by yourself. Listen. Keep silent.
you are not God's mouthpiece. Try to be an ear,and if you do speak, ask for explanations.

The source of your arrogance and anger is your lust
and the rootedness of that is in your habits.

Someone who makes habit of eating clay
gets made when you try to keep him from it.
Being a leader can also be a poisonous habit,
so that when someone questions your authority,
you think, "He's trying to take over."
You may respond courteously, but inside you rage.

Always check your inner state
with the Lord of your heart.
Copper doesn't know it copper,
until its change to gold.

Your loving doesn't know its majesty
until it knows its helplessness.

The Essential Rumi, p. 142-144
Translated by Coleman Barks