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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

18- A Dialogue with an Ant


King Solomon was known for his love to nature. He would, every now and then, take a stroll either through his gardens, on the banks of the river, or on the mountains. He would watch with interest the animals, the birds, the fish, and even the insects, and perceive in their behaviour how their wisdom, manifested in their natural instincts, proved Gods caring for them.

One day, his attention was drawn to a tiny ant, which was carrying part of a grain of wheat that in turn greatly outweighed the ant itself; the ant was transporting it towards its hole, for storing. The King wondered, Why cant I make this ant happy? Seeing that it is expending all this effort to transport half a grain.

The great wealth that God has given me is for bringing happiness not only to my people, but also to the animals, birds and insects. Image: An ant صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: نملة Image: An ant

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: نملة

The king then took the ant, put it in a golden box lined with smooth silk, put with it a grain of wheat and said to it with a smile, Toil no more, for every day Ill give you a grain that you can eat without labouring. The abundance in my silos is sufficient to feed millions of humans, animals, birds and insects.

The ant thanked him for taking such good care of it.

When Solomon returned the following day he was surprised to notice that the ant had eaten only half the grain. He put a second grain - but again the following day the ant had left half a grain. When this was repeated day after day, Solomon asked the ant, Why do you always leave half a grain?

The ant replied, I always leave half a grain as a reserve. I know how much you care for me, and I know of the abundance in your silos. But you are human, and your daily pre-occupations could lead you to forgetting about me. I therefore retain half a grain to avoid going hungry in that case. God who leaves me to toil for my food wont forget me, but you might.

The king therefore released the ant to resume its natural way of life, after realising that God has given it that which He has not given to humans.

→ English translation of the story here at حوار مع نملة!!! Divider

You never forget me

A mother might forget even her suckling, but You, O Lord, will not forget me.

You may permit that my life be full of hardships,

But a hair from my head shall not fall without Your permission.

Your ways in shepherding Your creation are indeed wondrous and outstanding,

But I will only understand them in their fullness on the day of my glory.

You grant me the communion of eternal glory,

Which makes me perceive that the moments of bitterness that I have lived,

Were but the road to my salvation.

I discover Your outstanding wisdom and Your unique Fatherhood.

Truly, You do not forget me.

My many pre-occupations may lead me to forget even the needs of my body,

And to neglect my lonely soul.

But to You, my soul is more precious than the whole world.

You descended to our world to redeem me,

And You offered Your precious blood for my salvation.

You granted me Your Holy Spirit to renew my depths.

Truly, though I forget myself, You will never forget me.

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