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The Ant and the Snail: A Future Fable

The Ant and the Snail: A Future Fable

Things end. So do right and share wisdom, okay?

Once upon a time, there was an unlikely pair of the very best of friends: an ant and a snail.

The serene snail lived life slowly, in no hurry. Few could pierce his shell (metaphorically), but when they did, they found he was wise in the ways of the world, and happy in and of himself, and wanted nothing more than for everyone else to be happy as well.

The industrious ant, in the manner of his kind, worked hard day after day to put food on the table, to find his way in the world and share with his fellows and improve life for all in the anthill.

Every day, the ant would take a short break to meet with the snail under the shade of the great tree. And there they would discuss great philosophical matters, or share a joke, or simply delight in each other's company.

And the ant wished that his fellow ants could share in the wisdom of the snail...but they had work to do, and could not stop to listen to one so different.

And so it went, day after day, that the ant and the snail met, and shared delight in companionship, and learned from one another.

And then one day the ant went to their usual meeting spot and found a horrible sight – his friend broken, shell splintered, dying.

His fate had come upon him unexpectedly, like a thief in the night, or a mountainous boot falling from the sky.

And the snail said farewell to his friend, and blessed him, and passed away. The ant mourned for his friend for as long as he could, but there was work to do.

But even as he made his way back to the anthill, the ant realized that he couldn't keep all the snail had had to offer to himself.

So he turned back and came once more to where his friend had died.

And he meditated for a while, and then, bit by bit he carried what remained of his friend home, and fed his family and his friends and their friends – literally, yes, but also metaphorically.
And they all, in turn, made the trek up to the snail's grave, and carried their own bits back, until one day, finally, nothing remained but the memory of a memory, of a wise snail who once had been.

But the anthill was never the same again.

And perhaps that was enough.

The Moral: No man – or ant, or snail – is an island. We're all going to touch a few lives in one way or maybe try to do it right.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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