On a bright sunny day a long time ago, four boys, overcome by drowsiness, fell asleep on a grassy hillside overlooking a lake. It must have been a hour or more later when one of the boys awoke to a tickling feeling on his bare leg, (for all of them were dressed in shorts). Lifting his head, he espied a small ant making its way with difficulty towards his right knee. Quickly turning to his still sleeping friends, he said “Hey wake up! Look there’s an ugly old ant on my leg!”
The other three now awake, also in turn began to feel a tickling on their own legs. “Look, there’s an ant on my leg, too.” “Yeah, me too!” Surely an unusual coincidence. All four of the boys had an ant on one of their legs!
By now though the first boy had tired of staring at his bothersome ant. With a quick movement of his hand he reached for the ant and crushed it. Just like that! Shaking it off with distaste, he shouted “And don’t come back!” The second boy, looking on in amusement, said to the first boy, “Why are you making such a big thing out of nothing? This is the way to take care of an ant!” And, with a quick flick of his thumb he sent his ant flying through the air. Looking stunned for a moment, and nursing an injured leg, the second ant went running off staggering from side to side.
The third boy, looked on with amazement at the insensitivity of his friends. “What’s wrong with you anyways? What did those poor ants ever do to you?” Looking at the ant on his leg for a moment more, he gently picked it up and set it down on a nearby blade of grass.
The fourth boy though, seemingly almost oblivious to the others, continued to gaze on his ant with the rapt attention of Galileo viewing the wonders of the stars. “Hey, you guys, look at this cool ant! It’s great!” The other three were now standing, looking down at him in semi-disbelief, still sprawled on the hillside. With the gentlest motion possible, he placed it in his hand, looking on at it with great fondness and admiration.
The round, red sun now began to sink beneath the trees, and the boys felt a rumbling in their stomachs. “Hey, come on! Let’s go! It’s time for dinner. Forget about that ant!” the three of them impatiently said. The last boy, with great reluctance, put his ant down on the grass. But, at the last minute, something seemed to occur to him, and pulling a small morsel of cake out his pocket, he placed it down next to the ant. Finally looking satisfied, he turned with a smile to the others and said, “Okay, let’s go!”