Shadowed Fables (4 of 6): The Ant and the Bird

The next Shadowed Fable I’d like to share is The Ant and the Bird. It’s a classic tale of you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.

Why I chose it:
I believe in maintaining a karmic balance with people. If they do me a favor, I watch out for opportunities and act on ways to repay them and pay it forward.

Origami bird sits in foliage overlooking an origami ant on a leaf

The Ant and the Bird

Once upon a time, there was a long period of drought in the animal kingdom. As a result, almost every day, the animals went in search of water.

One day when Ant woke up, he realized that he did not have enough water in his barrel so he went in search of some.

Fortunately, after walking a while, he came across a river and just as he was about to scoop some of it, he slipped and fell into it.

He struggled to come out but to no avail. His continuous shouts for help did not help because of the obscure nature of the location of the river.

Ant did his best to come out but anytime he tried he slipped into the river again. Soon, he got tired and stopped to rest. Minutes later, he heard Bird chirping from one of the trees.

Ant realised that it was his last hope so with the little strength left in him he called out Bird’s name. Bird heard his distress call and was able to trace it to the river. However, she did not know who had called for her help so she got closer to the river.

‘Who is there?’ Bird shouted. ‘It’s me,’ Ant replied.

Ant then begged Bird to rescue him and he would repay her later. Bird laughed over that statement because she considered Ant too little an animal to offer any assistance to her. Nevertheless, she agreed to help him.

She threw a leaf into the river and shouted to Ant to climb onto it. The leaf then floated to the side of the river and with that Ant was rescued.

Ant thanked Bird and reassured her that he would help her one day. Again, Bird laughed over that and flew away.

‘How can small Ant help me?’ she said to herself.

Many months after that incident, a hunter went to the forest in search of an animal to kill for food. Luckily, he saw Bird making her nest.

‘Ah,’ thought the hunter, ‘I will kill and eat this bird.’ By that time the hunter had removed his gun which hung by his side and was getting it ready to kill Bird. Ant, who was close by, noticed that the hunter wanted to shoot Bird and thought that would be the appropriate period to repay Bird for her good deed to him.

Ant climbed onto the hunter’s leg. He ran through his back, then to his shoulders before landing on the arm that held the gun and bit it as hard as it could. The hunter jumped and fired his gun into the air. Bird was startled by the shot and flew away to safety.

Bird moved to a safer place and when she looked down, she realised it was Ant that had saved her life.

Later when they met, she thanked him.

‘We will always be friends,’ she said, and Ant answered, ‘Remember, one good turn deserves another.’

Story source: ModernGhana.com

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