The baby Ant’s parents were quite upset when they heard these questions from her. They said to her “dear child, only those who work hard and do as they are told can be happy. You must work hard every day so that you can be a valuable part of the anthill and then you will be happy. Ants who work hard are successful, other Ants like them, and they are able to get everything they want in life.”
The baby ant looked around her and shook her head. “But mom and dad she said, I see many ants who work hard all day and they are not very happy. Most of them are poor and a lot of them don’t have anyone who loves them. And what about you? you work hard all the time but we are poor why is that?”
“It doesn’t work that way my dear, only those who deserve good things get good things” said Baby Ant’s parents. “Well then I don’t want to be an ant anymore” said the baby ant. I think I want to be a bird. Look at the birds - they are free. They can go anywhere they want, whenever they want and they always have food to eat. The birds wake up in the morning, and they chirrup with joy. Birds are happy and they don’t work very hard, they just fly around all day and have fun. I want to be bird.”
And with those words the baby ant magically grew wings and flew away.
She flew over the trees and over the houses it felt good to be free. “Come with me she shouted to her parents. It is so much fun to be here.” But her parents shook their heads at her and said “one day you will realize the error of your ways and then it will be too late for you to come back to the anthill, no one will want you back. You will die alone. Come back now while there is still time.”
The baby ant was disappointed but she knew that she could not survive in the anthill. She hoped that one day her parents would understand what she already knew, that hard work had nothing to do with how happy Ants were. She saw a flock of beautiful Robbins sitting on a tree and she thought maybe I can become a part of their family and make new friends. Like-minded friends who enjoy freedom and like being happy. She perched next to a little birdie who seemed to be quite happy. “Hello birdie, how are you? I am so happy to meet you. I have just become a bird. Can you tell me a little about your experience of being a bird?”
“Being a bird is a good life” said her new friend, “I’m still figuring it out – there is a lot to learn.” “What do you mean?” said the little Ant-Bird.
“The most important thing about being a bird,” said her new friend “is that you follow your instinct.”
“What is instinct?” asked the little Ant-Bird. “There is a little voice inside you that tells you what you have to do. It tells you where to go to find food and everything else you need. All you have to do is wish for something you want and then the little voice inside you tells you how to get it. The second important thing is that you learn to appreciate. You appreciate when you wake up. When you fly over the treetops you appreciate how beautiful everything looks. We birds are always looking for something to appreciate. When you appreciate you can hear the voice of your instinct a lot better.”
“That seems like fun said the little Ant-Bird. I think I can do that, no problem.” And so, the next day the little Ant-Bird got up with all the other birds and started to appreciate, appreciate, appreciate. When the voice inside her told her to look down she did and was surprised that every time she looked there was something for her that she had been looking for. Food was easy to find, and life was fun. “I think I’m getting good at being a Bird” she said.
One day the little Ant-Bird was perched on the branch of a tree. “Hello tree” she said to the tree. “I appreciate you.”
“Hello little bird,” said the tree “what a lovely day isn’t it?” “ It sure is” said the little Ant-Bird. “But I feel a little tired now, I have been flying all day”.
“Were you having fun?” said the tree.
“Oh yes!” said the little Ant-Bird, “flying is a lot of fun, I have learnt to trust my instinct so it takes me to whatever I am wishing for.”
"That’s very good little bird, I don’t go anywhere, I stay right here and everything I want comes to me” said the tree.
The little Ant-Bird had never thought about it before, but the tree was so right. Trees never went anywhere – they just stayed where they were. “ Aren’t you bored being in one place all the time?” the little Ant-Bird asked the tree. “Not at all” said the tree. “I have a lot of fun. I have visitors every day, some of them are birds like you, but I have all sorts of insects come and play with me all day, and people who walk by. Sometime they come and sit in my shade and talk. I have lots of friends. Besides I have a really great view of everything that is going on in the world around me – and whatever I wish for comes to me. I just have to trust that it will, especially through the winter when all my leaves are gone.”
“But don’t you wish that you could do something to bring them back quickly, don’t you prefer having leaves?”
“I don’t have to do anything little bird – the Universe does everything for me. When I wish for rain, the rain comes, when I wish for sun, the sun shines. There is bad weather but I know that everything is always alright. I know that the Universe has a plan and I just have to wait for it to unfold. So I enjoy every season, and the contrast of changing seasons makes me appreciate and enjoy each one.”
That sounds like a very satisfying life said the little Ant-Bird. “Yes, it is” said the tree. “I am always happy and satisfied and I am of so much value to the world. I provide shelter for birds and animals, I provide shade for people, many benefit from the fruit I give freely, and even when I am gone, I leave the legacy of my wood behind”.
“What is the most important thing about your life as a tree?” asked the little Ant-Bird.
“The most important thing about my life is Trust – trust in the Universe, trust that all is well, and trust that things are always working out for me. Trust that I am of value and that I have an important role to play here and now.”
“So if I can trust that everything I want will come to me then I can be a tree?”
“Yes little bird – is that what you want? Do you want everything you want to come to you?”
“Yes it is – I have been searching all my life for a way of life that is easy and joyful. I used to be an Ant but that was so much hard work, and then I became a bird. I do like being a bird, but I think I would prefer to be a tree now”.
“Well then…what are you waiting for?” said the tree.
“I want to be a tree” said the little Ant-Bird and no sooner were the words out of her mouth then she grew roots and turned into a beautiful tree.
She stood tall and joyful. She knew her own value and she loved each and every animal, bird and insect that came to her. The more she trusted the more her heart filled with joy, and more joy she felt the more beautiful the world looked from where she stood.
From Ant to Bird to Tree…anyone can be anything they want to be.