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A Little English : The mighty ant (2)

【明報專訊】Mighty ant was famous throughout the ant colony for his strength and went to show off his amazing ability in town. But no one paid any attention to him so he went back home when he realised how insignificant he was to the townspeople.

From then on, mighty ant worked hard — twice as hard as before and was a great help to the community: foraging for food and building extensions to their antnest. His head was no longer filled with dreams of fame. All the other ants admired him greatly and wanted him to be their new leader. But mighty ant shook his head and said, "I cannot be your leader. We ants have a queen and she alone is our leader. Our queen is the only one who can lay eggs and without her, none of us would be here."

One of the younger ants said, "That's all very well but these are new times and we want a new leader. One who's exciting and charismatic; not some big blob who just keeps on having babies! "

"What a dreadful thing to say!" mighty ant was shocked. "Our queen is the mother of us all. Without her, we are nothing. You youngsters do not realise how much we all owe her."

The young ants and his friends protested, "It's not that we're ungrateful — we know we enjoy all the benefits of the nest, food and shelter. But what sort of a future do we have? Just a life of toil. We want to go see the wide world. Look at you! You went to town and came back all changed. You're now twice the hero we thought you were before. All we want is the same chance."

Mighty ant was in a dilemma(窘境). He had never told anyone that he had been totally ignored by the townspeople. He was too ashamed. All the ants assumed that their hero had been given a hero's welcome and shown many great sights.

"Oh, what should I do?" thought mighty ant desperately. "These youngsters have no idea how insignificant we are to the townspeople. Should I tell them the truth now or should I let them go and find out for themselves? Maybe I can use delaying tactics(策略)." So he said kindly to the boisterous group, "Listen, kids, I suggest you wait until you're a bit older before venturing to town..."

The impatient youngsters were in no mood to wait for him to finish speaking and began loudly clamouring to go. What should mighty ant do?

■Something to think about

If each ant had the power to vote and made use of it, then it's highly possible that the world would be run by ants. But unfortunately ants do not have the right to vote and besides, they are too busy with their daily chores to turn their attention to such matters.

■Text: A Lamb

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