Short Story : The Tortoise And The Ant

Once upon a time, tortoise and the ant were invited to a feast by a great and mighty king. Tortoise arrived at the gate of the ant and could not wait for the ant, as the ant was dishing out instructions and assigning work to his family members. Tortoise was eager to get to the feast and help himself out, as hunger was biting hard in the land. He was among the first arrivals and joined in the light refreshment provided by the king. As soon as the sun was getting over head the king sent his trusted aides to travel down the road and pick any guest on the way. That was how the ant was brought to the venue in a fanfare. The ant of course stole the show as he was ushered to the V.I.P seat. When the feast started properly after all the protocols had been observed, the ant was all by himself. He did not touch his meal nor the drinks and could not join other guests as they joyfully shared jokes and banters and in singing and dancing. Tortoise did all he could to impress the august gathering. He had eaten to stupefaction. He made sure he tasted every food item and drink that they passed around. The king was worried that the ant was not enjoying the atmosphere and could not make out the meaning . So he told his army to detain him as he gave the vote of thanks and dismissed the guests in high spirit. In the most magnificent throne room, the king invited the ant to a special dinner but the ant refused. The king was worried the more. The ant explained to the worried king that it was against their culture to feast when there was a pressing need in the land. He told the king that hunger was ravaging their land and that he was thinking of a workable solution to the problem. Again, that it was sheer wickedness and irresponsibility on his side to be feasting while his wife and children were dying of hunger. The king was really touched and impressed and wanted to make the ant his trusted adviser but the ant still refused. He told the king that it is against their nature to be sitting down while important and urgent job needed to be done. The king did not know what to make of the situation. The ant pleaded with the king to let him have some seeds which he would take back home and plant. The king was pleased that at least the ant could ask for something. He commanded his servants to give the ant as much as he would desire. He released a truck to ferry him down. He packaged some money which he would use to acquire lands and hire farm hands. Moreover, a bag of take away was given to him for his wife and children. Tortoise had returned in joyous mood having filled his stomach. He had also packaged some leftovers in his hard shelf. When the wife of the ant heard that tortoise had returned without her husband, she rushed to his gate to find out the reason . Tortoise in his boisterous manner told her that her too know husband was arrested and detained by the king for undisclosed reasons. Tortoise was to carry his family away in search of the good life . The ant had returned and went about the business seriously. He quickly acquired enough land and hired workers. He planted the seeds as soon as rain came. Within three months the corn was harvested. One day the king paid unscheduled visit to the ant and saw what he was doing. The king wanted to make the ant his agric adviser but the ant refused again to the king’s amazement. He however agreed to render useful advice to the kingdom as occasion demanded on private ground. The ant does not take it kindly with official-dom!

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