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The Ant and his Ocean
There is a drop of water on a small table. Every now and then, a man sitting by the table stops what he’s doing to glance at it; the only drop of water on that small table.
Why doesn’t anybody suggest wiping it away?
One might say it’s not a problem; after all, it’s no larger than a coin,
and occupies only a small corner of the table, so it doesn’t bother you or the man.
Still, it might be of great importance to other creatures, for example, an ant.
I say this because, when you notice this drop of water, you are bound to notice the ant –
the one that always appears next to it.
To you, this drop
is no larger than a coin,
but to the ant, it could be a lake or
– with a measure of imagination –
a massive ocean.
Time and again the ant appears by the ocean.
He looks at the mirror-like, tranquil waters and, with great excitement, sees only one thing on the surface:
his gigantic, beautiful reflection.
Didn’t you notice?
It’s always the same ant striking a pose by this drop of water.
This is a strange ant indeed. He carefully records every footstep, no matter how tiny;
he is keenly aware that you have been gazing at him.
As a result, every gesture of his – even one as miniscule as a
y a w n
– seems tinged with gigantic significance.
Besides, he always carries a biscuit crumb on his back like a name card that appears to grow bigger and heavier.
D r a g g i n g
it along, the ant trudges laboriously towards that drop of water
– that ocean you kept for him.
When the ant comes near the ocean, he can’t help
w a v i n g
his antennae joyously.
It’s not difficult for anyone to see that he likes, or is even quite enamored of, the ocean.
Yes, it’s all because on this calm surface, he sees only one reflection:
his own enormous, beautiful one.
No doubt the ocean exists for him
We do not know how long the ant has remained by the ocean,
but we do know that every day, he carries the biscuit crumb,
which is getting heavier and heavier, just to enjoy his reflection;