Once there was an ant who was teaching his son an important lesson in object relocation.
“O.K. son”, he said, “I want you to move that pebble to the entrance of the farm.”
“I can’t”, said the little ant.
“Can’t or shan’t?”
‘What?” said the little ant.
“Shan’t. Shall not. Will not. Won’t.” asked his father. “You never truly know what you can or can’t do until you’ve tried! Which leaves me to believe that you just don’t want to.”
“I want to, I really do, but just look at the size of that thing. There’s no way I can lift it up. I’m just a little ant.”
“First of all, I’ve lifted pebbles twice that size when I was your age. We ants may be tiny, but we’re incredibly strong. Second, I never said you had to lift it. There are other ways of moving it, like pushing or pulling.”
“You’re right, dad. I’ll try.” said the little ant.
So he tried pushing. He tried and he tried, but the pebble didn’t budge but a few millimeters. Then he hooked his mandibles into the pebble and pulled with all the might his little body could muster. There was some movement, but at the pace he was going, it would take a day to reach the farm.
“See, I can’t, I really can’t dad. I’m not strong.” The little ant was crestfallen. He was already imagining the disappointment in his father’s voice.
“There’s one last thing you could try son,” the father said gently.
Surprised by the tone, the little ant looked up. Eager to hear the answer, he asked, “what is it dad?”
“You could ask for help. That doesn’t make you weak. Quite the opposite. Asking for help takes courage and strength.”
After a slight pause, the little ant said in a timid whisper: “Daddy, can you help me please?”
“Of course son. Let’s move this pebble .. together.”
And that’s exactly what they did. They moved it together.
*If you enjoyed this post, check out more of my fiction here.