Thursday, January 16, 2020

Microstory 1279: The Ladybug and the Ants

One summer, a ladybug was merrily flying about, enjoying the day, chewing on some aphids, and hiding from birds under leaves. As she was finishing her meal, seemingly an entire army of ants came marching towards her. They were carrying large bits of food to their colony on the other side of the hill. The ladybug stopped one of the ants and asked what they were doing. “We’re taking food to our colony, so that we can have it over the winter.”

“Why do you need to do that?” the ladybug asked. “The food is already here. Why, you should just eat it now. That’s what I do with these tasty aphids. Why, there are plenty here for all of us, as long as you stay out of my way, we’ll have no problem!”

“There will be no food in the winter,” the ant replied. “We must store it up every year.”

The ladybug scoffed, and moved on. She was too young to know the cold. Weeks later, winter came indeed, leaving the ladybug with no food to eat. All the aphids were overwintering as eggs. She flew over to the ant colony, and begged them to let her in. “Please, I did not understand. Do you have room for a humble lady bug? I am so hungry, but I promise not to eat too much!”

“Of course you can come in,” the ant said to her, “but just this year. Next year, you must learn to fend for yourself.”

This story was inspired by, and revised from, an Aesop Fable called The Ants and the Grasshopper.

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