Vengeful White Ants

A Tale of Trickery and Broken Promises

In a time of great famine, when a single grain of corn was more valuable than its weight in gold, a hungry spider wandered through the forest in search of sustenance. To his great delight, he stumbled upon the carcass of an antelope. Knowing that he would face challenges in bringing his prize home safely, the spider carefully wrapped the antelope in a long mat and secured it tightly.

With the bundle balanced on his head, the spider set off for home, weeping loudly and proclaiming to all who would listen that he carried the body of his beloved grandfather. Passersby, moved by his apparent grief, offered their heartfelt sympathies.

The Suspicious Duo

As the spider journeyed on, he encountered the wolf and the leopard. These two wise animals, well-acquainted with the spider’s deceitful nature, suspected that his tears were nothing more than a clever ruse. They discussed how they might uncover the truth behind the spider’s bundle.

The wolf and the leopard devised a plan. Taking a shortcut through the forest, they positioned themselves behind a tree they knew the spider would pass. As the spider approached, they shook the tree violently and let out terrifying noises. The spider, consumed by fear, dropped his bundle and fled.

The Feast Interrupted

The wolf and the leopard, upon opening the bundle, were overjoyed to discover the antelope’s flesh inside. They carried their prize back to their cottage and began preparing a sumptuous feast. Meanwhile, the spider, having recovered from his fright, deduced that his enemies must have been behind the ambush. He resolved to reclaim his lost meal.

The spider hatched a plan. He took a small lizard and filed its teeth to sharp points. He then sent the lizard to the wolf and the leopard’s cottage, instructing it to beg for fire. The lizard was to extinguish the fire as soon as it left the cottage and return to ask for more. If questioned, the lizard was to smile, revealing its beautifully filed teeth.

The Spider’s Revenge

The plan unfolded just as the spider had anticipated. The wolf and the leopard, impressed by the lizard’s teeth, inquired about the source of such exquisite dental work. The lizard revealed that “Filing Spider” had performed the service. Eager to have their own teeth filed, the wolf and the leopard sought out the disguised spider.

The spider agreed to file the animals’ teeth but insisted that they first be hung from a tree. The unsuspecting wolf and leopard complied. Once they were securely suspended, the spider and his family mocked them and reclaimed the antelope’s body. They held a grand feast in front of the helpless animals, inviting the entire village to join in the revelry and ridicule.

The Ants’ Rescue and Betrayal

Three days later, White Ant and his children came upon the wolf and the leopard still hanging from the tree. The trapped animals begged for help, promising a lavish feast in return. The ants worked tirelessly, destroying the tree and setting the wolf and the leopard free.

Unbeknownst to the wolf and the leopard, the spider had overheard their invitation to the ants. On the day of the promised feast, the spider dressed his children as ants and sent them ahead, singing the ants’ chorus to deceive their hosts. The wolf and the leopard, believing them to be the real ants, welcomed them warmly and laid out a magnificent spread.

The Tragic Mistake

Shortly after the spider family’s departure, the true ants arrived. The wolf and the leopard, mistaking them for the spider’s kin, poured boiling water over the ants, killing all but White Ant himself.

White Ant, consumed by rage and grief, vowed never again to aid another creature. From that day forward, he and his descendants would seize every opportunity to wreak havoc on the property of others. And so, the white ants became an eternal scourge, a reminder of the consequences of trickery and broken promises.

This tale serves as a cautionary lesson about the perils of deceit and the importance of honoring one’s word. The spider’s selfish manipulations and the wolf and the leopard’s tragic misunderstanding led to the unintended suffering of the innocent ants. The ants’ subsequent vow of vengeance highlights the far-reaching consequences of betrayal and the enduring power of a grudge born from injustice.

In a world where trust is a fragile commodity, this story reminds us to be mindful of our actions and to treat others with integrity and respect. For in the end, the seeds of deception we sow may yield a bitter harvest, one that can forever alter the course of our lives and the lives of those around us.

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