Monday, April 08, 2013

The Lazy Fox and the Busy Ants

Have you noticed how much we stereotype the animal world?  Foxes are always cunning, ants are busy and hard working, owls are wise and the monkeys and cats are smart?  I think we just like to slot people and animals into categories, it makes it easy for us to deal with things that way, than treat each thing individually.

I've always wondered about saving up for a rainy day, whether it really works, because deep within me i sometimes feel, we kind of will a rainy day into reality when we save up for it.  When we don't save up and live for the moment, the rainy day never comes.

My story this time was kind of a tangent from both these lines of thoughts..

There was once a fox who lived in a cave near an ant-hill.  Every day when he went by to hunt and eat something, he would see the row of ants, patiently walking one after the other.  They would keep carrying bits of food to their home.  It amused him to watch them, always in a straight line, never thinking beyond the person in front of them.  

One day, an ant decided to talk to him.  He asked the fox, why do you keep looking at us and smiling?  Do you not have any other work to do?  The fox told the ant that it wondered why they saved up so much food, instead of eating that day and enjoying the meal at the moment.  The ant looked at the fox strangely, why, we are saving up for a rainy day, of course!!! When it rains, we will not be able to gather food, so we gather it now and store it away so we will not need it later.  The fox thought this was ridiculous.  What rainy day, rainy days are so far away, enjoy the sun now and play while you can, he thought to himself.  But he did not say anything and let the little ant go on his way home.  

Time passed and it soon became the cold season.  The ants huddled up in their ant-hill and ate through their stores.  They were lean and little and they could not take the cold.  The fox continued on his way and ate whatever prey he could find.  When it became colder still, he simply cuddled up in his cave and slept through the cold.  Days and nights he slept and woke up to a warm spring day.

I'm not sure why i finished the story this way, except that i did not want it to go the usual route.  I did not want the smug ants to go to the fox and say, see this is why we have saved up our food.  We all deal with our rainy days in different ways.  Those who live in a lean and spare manner must save up their food for a rainy day, because they can't live without it.  And those like the fox can simply afford to sleep through their rainy days.  Different things work for different people.

As always, excuse any bad science in the story.

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