Once there was a farmer who owned a large garden with a number of fruit-trees. But one apple tree had gone barren. It no longer bore any fruit, though it provided shelter to many birds.
Now, seeing the apple-tree useless, the farmer made up his mind to fell it. He came to the garden with his axe and got ready to cut down the apple-tree.
But the birds living on that tree begged the farmer, “Spare this tree, sir. If you fell it, we shall have to go elsewhere. It will deprive you of our merry notes when you are at work here.”
But the farmer turned a deaf-ear to the plea and struck at the tree with his axe. A few strokes of the axe discovered a hollow in the tree-stem. It had a large honey-comb inside it.
Delighted at his find, the farmer threw his axe and said to himself, “This tree is really worth keeping. I must not fell it.”
Most men gauge things by their utility only.