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A Little English : The mighty ant

【明報專訊】Once there was an ant which was amazingly strong. None of the other ants had ever seen anything like it. The mighty ant could lift two grains of rice in one go! As for his courage, well, anyone who saw him taking on a slug or a worm all by himself would not doubt his bravery. Soon he became the talk of the community and his fame spread far and wide. There was no ant who didn't know who this mighty guy was.

Oh, how they sang his praises! Now it is true that too much praise will go to your head and is therefore not good for you. Day after day, mighty ant was greeted with words of admiration until one day, he started to believe all that he heard. He decided to go to the town to show them what a rare talent he was and then his fame would spread even further.

So up he climbed up onto the largest of the hay wagons, stationed himself right next to the driver and entered the town in triumph. But he was astonished that nobody greeted him or paid him any attention at all. He grumbled to himself, "These townspeople — running about preoccupied with their own affairs. Don't they realise I'm here? Me, mighty ant, the hero of the ant nest!"

To attract attention, he took a leaf and whirled it around like a flag. Then he nimbly(敏捷地)jumped to and fro(來回地)to show off his athletic prowess. But still the people paid him no heed. The ant became very upset and shouted, "I think you people are blind and ignorant! How dare you ignore me like that? Why don't you give me the respect I deserve? If you come to our ant nest, you'll all soon find out what a great hero they think I am."

The ant ranted and raved(大叫大嚷)and stamped his tiny feet but no one took any notice. Finally, the ant headed home downcast but a little wiser for he now realised that beyond the ant nest, all his fame and heroics counted for nothing in the wide world.

■Something to do

Ants are among the most numerous insects on earth and they have truly amazing abilities, including super strength, strong social structure, division of labour. Find out more about these wonderful creatures and their importance to the ecosystem.

■Text: A Lamb

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