The Little Black Ants

Photo by Syed Rajeeb

It was a hot day and the ants were happy to be working in maintaining their colony. The colony had two queen ants, who were caring and responsible. The colony wasn’t big at all. In fact the colony lived under a terracotta pot which bloomed lilies only during summer. The entire year went by for the lily plant, without much activity except for making food and storing them in the bulbs which had the roots of the plant. So when the Queen ants asked for permission to build a colony under the pot; the kind lily plant and all the small insects and earthworms in the pot readily agreed. The pot was kept   on a marble slab which was a part of the balcony.

The little black ants liked the clean white floor and soon the place under the pot had a happy colony of ants with lots of white eggs on the white marble slab. The place was cool and comfortable because of the moist terracotta pot. The ants cared for the plant by loosening the clay and helping the roots breathe.

One day, Khuku, a little girl who lived in that apartment, decided to clean the marble slab with water and soap to make it shine like new. As she removed the pot, the little black ants ran helter-skelter in frenzy as the scorching rays of the sun fell on the tiny white eggs on the white marble slab.

It amused Khuku to see the ants running around in panic unable to decide what to do. The queen ants spotted the pot which Khuku had kept a little away from its erstwhile place, and ordered all the ants to carry the eggs to the shade underneath the pot. Each ant hurried with an egg to keep it under the cool shade of the pot, and came back for more. One by one each of the eggs were removed from the scorching heat, though a few of the eggs sadly perished before they could be saved.

Khuku had been placing various obstacles on the way of the ants as they tried to save their little ones. They had huffed and puffed as they went about their work wondering why God was testing their endurance. But once they shifted the eggs, they thanked God and rested after the tiring work.

The amused girl simply picked up the pot once more and shifted it to a place a little further away. Again, Khuku saw some of the black ants, stunned under the sudden brightness of the sun, run around in every direction; but to her surprise, there were no eggs beneath the pot nor did she find the presence of the queen ants. The little ants soon found out the pot and scurried underneath the pot.

Khuku tilted the pot and saw the ants making a bee line towards the tiny hole under the pot. The queen ants had learnt from their experience and had instructed the ants to keep the eggs in a secure place inside the pot. The girl smiled at the intelligence of the ants and kept the pot in its original place after cleaning the slab.

Good leaders save those under them from recurrent troubles. It is important to learn from the first experience and take wise decisions to avoid further misfortunes.

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