The white painted ant

Rikkie was a small red ant living in a city. He was taught to be ferocious as his parents always felt that was what was expected of a red ant. As he was growing up, he would bite many people who ever he felt would be a nuisance to him. Rikkie realized that humans feared red ants than black ants.

One day after breakfast as he was passing by a construction building, a bucket of white paint fell on the ground by a worker from the third floor. A drop of paint fell on Rikkie too and he felt quite uncomfortable getting drenched in paint. He thought he should rush home and have a bath. He did so but the paint failed to get off from his body. Rikkie was very concerned. Soon kids playing near the park saw him and screamed ” Such a cute ant”. He hated such words.

He always wanted to fear people but not be loved or admired as “cute”. uhhh….

Rikkie slowly felt as days passed that nobody was scared of him. his parents tried convincing him that his new color on his body was fine and it didn’t matter really in life. But Rikkie was very upset.

Then something drastically changed.

One evening it rained heavily in the city. It thundered and showered like never before. Everyone was trying to take shelter to save themselves from the fiery rain. Rikkie too took shelter under a big leaf. Finally after many hours, when the rain stopped, Rikkie saw that his artificial white color had gone from his body. He was red again as he was meant to be. Rikkie danced gleefully and went home.

His mom was very worried where he had been in the rain but she too was happy that he was glad to have his original color. Next day when he was going by the park, the children got scared of him and started screaming ” Oh no, that red ant that was missing is back. God knows what happened to our calm little white ant!”.

Rikkie tried explaining to the children, that it was him both as the white ant and now back as the red ant. But they did not seem to understand his language. They were really scared of him. Earlier Rikkie liked causing that fear. But now he was used to being liked and he didn’t like the feeling of being hated again. Thoughts started rambling in his mind if he should color himself white again somehow to be liked. But no. He had to find a way to make children like him even if he was red.

So from the next day he would be where the children were playing and if they required help in pushing the marbles or small paper boats he would use his strength to push it towards them. The children realized that the ant wanted to be friendly and not bite them anymore. Soon he started getting used to comments like , ” Look the beautiful red ant is here.”

Rikkie realized that it didn’t matter what color one is but it did matter a lot if one was friendly or not to be accepted by people around us. Rikkie was very happy. He had many more people in the world who liked him.

It really didn’t require him to be ferocious unnecessarily.  Even his parents understood that it is wiser to be friendlier and as a good person in the world than being a disliked red ant.

(For kids aged between 4-7 years. By Reshma Krishnamurthy Sharma)




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