#63 – The Tale of the Ant and the Man

Once upon a time, in a world where it was crucial to always be prompt, a man was in a tremendous hurry to get to where he was going. Although the man was of average height and carrying an average-sized briefcase, it would be evident to any observer that he was walking along the path at an above average pace. That was, of course, unless the observer was an ant. In which case, the man would be significantly taller than what you might call an ‘average’ height, and the briefcase’s size would be well-above average for any purpose you might desire from it. Further, as an ant, if you happened to be walking across the pavement at the wrong time, you would probably do what this ant did, and attempt to prevent yourself from being squashed by the man.

“Stoooooooooop!” the ant yelled with four of his six, thin legs raised in the air, attempting to shield himself from the huge, black boot about to descend right on top of him. To the ant’s surprise, the boot became suspended in mid-air, maybe an inch away from his shiny, black body. As the boot moved to the side, the ant noticed that the boot was attached to a leg and the leg to a man. The man was looking puzzled, but, luckily, must have been in a particularly compliant mood. “Wow, man,” said the ant, “Just exactly what do you think you’re doing?”
The man’s face became a lot more serious.
“I’m going,” he began, “to where I need to be, and, where I need to be is, simply put, none of your business.”
“OOOOOK,” said the ant. “Look, man, I didn’t really want to know anyway, but you can’t just walk around squashing animals just because you need to be somewhere.” The ant was dusting himself off as the man listened. “It can’t be that important, can it?”

The man’s eyes widened as he leaned down closer to the ant. “You have no idea where I’m going,” he said, “but, rest assured, that it is very important.”
“Riiiiigghht,” responded the ant. “And what makes you presume that I’m not going anywhere important, either?”
Standing up straight, the man responded, “Well, you’re an ant for a start, and ants never do anything I would consider important.” The ant shook his head and laughed.
“I can safely say that I have lifted more today than you have lifted in your lifetime, and all of it was to keep my family alive. That’s important if you ask me.” The man let out a nervous chuckle, having been tricked by the ant. After all, he had to agree that he went to work all day to keep his family alive as well. However, there was a greater purpose to his work other than just feeding his family.

“Where I am going, and what I am doing today, will transform the world forever,” the man explained to the ant.
“That’s cool,” said the ant. “I don’t suppose you have us ants in mind when transforming the world, do you?”
“Ha! Of course not,” Responded the man. “Don’t be so ridiculous.”
The ant pointed to a forest lining the horizon in the distance. “You see those trees over there?” the ant asked.
“Yes, yes,” responded the man impatiently while the ant pointed in the opposite direction.
“My friends and I carried the seeds for those trees from waaaaaay over there, all the way over there, to give ourselves and our children food forever and to give you air to breathe.” The man was now becoming increasingly bothered, and his face had turned bright red.
“This whole charade better be going somewhere quick smart,” the man demanded. “I have trodden on numerous ants to get where I am going before, and I will do it again without giving a second thought today, tomorrow and every day after that. You cannot convince me that you have humans in mind when you carry those seeds, any more than you can convince me that I shouldn’t be in a hurry to get to where I am going!”

The ant sighed. “Well, I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this.” Confused, the man watched closely as the ant put two of his front legs in his mouth and let out a mighty whistle. “Here, boy!” the ant yelled. The man blinked slowly with a look of concern on his face, he then noticed something which was well-above average height coming through the trees on the horizon. At least forty-times more massive than the man, a giant ant, was marching towards him. The enormous ant may have been moving at what it considered to be an average pace, but its colossal strides meant that one of its legs was coming down to squash the man in a matter of seconds.

“Stoooooooooooooop!” The man yelled, putting both his arms above his head to shield himself from the giant foot. To his surprise, the foot stopped mid-air and, with his whole body shaking, he opened his eyes slowly and looked down at the ant.
“Convincing enough for you?” the ant asked. The man hugged his briefcase and sped off down the path, being mindful not to trample on any ants, in order to get to wherever he was going.


My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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