A certain Sadducee once said to R. Joshua b. Hananiah. ‘You are a brier, since of you it is written in Scripture: the best of them is as a brier (Micah 7:4)’. ‘Foolish man’, the other replied, ‘look up the conclusion of the text where it is written: The upright man is a better [protection] than a tabernacle (sharper than a thorn hedge)’.
‘What then was meant by The best of them is as a brier?’ ‘As briers protect a gap so do the best men among us protect us’.
Which fits nicely with a comment on natural ethics from the previous page:
R. Johanan observed: If the Torah had not been given we could have learnt modesty from the cat, honesty from the ant, chastity from the dove, and good manners from the rooster who first coaxes and then mates.