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The Snake and the Ants

Once upon a time there lived a snake in a forest.  The snake was extremely powerful and strong.  It had lived there for many years.  It was also extremely poisonous.  Besides, it was also very wicked at heart.

All the other inhabitants of the forest lived in terror of the snake.  The snake would slither about the forest floor.  It would strike without warning with its sharp and venomous fangs.  Any small animal which was unlucky enough to be in the snake’s path met a terrifying death.

Once there lived a pair of birds which built a nest on a tree.  The branch was high on the tree.  But that was no defence against the snake as it could climb trees.

The birds built their nest in one of the branches.  Soon, the female bird laid three eggs.  The eggs were the pride and joy of the birds.  The sat over it to keep it warm.  After a few days, three beautiful chicks emerged from the eggs.  The joy of the parents knew no bounds.

Every day, the birds flew far and wide in search of food for their young ones.  They returned in the evening with food for their hungry chicks.  The chicks were growing fast.  The birds were very happy.

But one day, tragedy struck.  The chirps of the young birds had attracted the evil snake.  The snake crept up the tree stealthily.   The parents were away in their search for food.   Soon the snake reached the nest where the three chicks lay helpless.  Within no time, the snake gobbled them up.

It was a heart rending sight when the parents returned home and found the nest empty and their precious babies gone.  The birds were heartbroken.  They mourned their kids for many days.  The other animals and birds which lived nearby were sad at the tragedy which had befallen the birds.
They were angry at the snake.  But they were powerless to act against it.

There were many animals in the forest which had suffered at the hands of the wicked snake.  Some had lost young ones.  Others had been seriously wounded by the snake’s venom.
There was an anthill in the forest.  The anthill was home to thousands of tiny ants.  These ants lived on the forest floor.  They were a disciplined lot.  The worked hard the whole year and stored their food in the anthill.

The anthill had many chambers.  Some of these chambers contained food which the ants had collected as they foraged about the forest floor.

Other chambers contained the larvae of the ants.  These larvae which looked like small worms would eventually grow into adult ants.  At the centre of the colony was the queen.  The queen was the mother of the colony.  All the ants had hatched out of the eggs she had laid.

The ants were thus one big family.  They had lived in the colony for many generations.
One day, as the snake was moving about in the forest, he came across the ant hill.  The snake had been looking for a new burrow to stay in.  He had grown big and fat and felt that his home was too small for him.

As he looked at the ant-hill, he knew that it was the right place for him.  The ant hill was made of soft mud which would be warm and cozy. 

The snake looked to see whose house it was.  As he looked closely, he could see the ants.  They were tiny and appeared to be week.  He sneered at the ants in disdain.  He stood in front of the ant-hill and put up his threatening pose.  He lifted his head and spread his hood.  Any other animal would have fled in terror at such as frightening display.  But not the ants, they went about their task as usual.
The snake was incensed. He was used to seeing animals fleeing for their lives as he approached.  Here were teeny-weeny ants not even bothering about his presence.

Seething with anger, the snake pounced on the ant-hill.  But it soon realized its folly; the ants were too small for the snake to the attack.  It thrashed about the anthill in vain.

The angry ants swarmed over the snake and bit it.  The snake wild with pain tried hard to shake off the ants.  But, the ants were too numerous.  As the snake rolled over the anthill, more and more ants began to swarm the snake.  Soon, there were thousands of angry ants over the snake.  The snake’s weapons, its sharp and poisonous fangs, which could have killed any animal in the forest, was useless in front of the  tiny ants.

The snake now realized what a terrible mistake he had made.  But it was too late.    The ants swarmed all over him and attacked him.  Soon, the snake was dead.

Children, this story teach us to be kind and humble when we have strength.  We should not bully the weak and the helpless.  One day, we might find that the tables are turned and we may be at others’ mercy.

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