An ant tried to pick up a rock. The rock was much too heavy for him.
“Hey,” he said to another ant. “Help me move this rock.” It was a large rock, and the queen had demanded that it be taken away from her home.
Both ants tried to move the rock. One tugged, the other pushed. The rock did not move.
“It’s too heavy,” the second ant said. The first ant give him a look like: duh!
“Go get more ants,” the first ant sighed. He waited for what seemed too long. Finally the second ant brought three more ants.
“What took you so long?” the first ant frowned.
“Everybody was busy,” the second ant said. His breath was sweet. Obviously he had stopped for a sugar snack. The first ant was annoyed. He had not eaten all day.
“Okay everyone,” the first ant called loudly. “Let’s all pull at the same time.” The five ants pulled at the rock at the same time. It did not move.
“Now try pushing!” he hollered. Still the rock did not move.
“Rats,” spat the first ant. The others gathered around waiting for him to come up with another idea.
“Bring all the ants you can find,” the first ant said. “Bring the queen if you have to. It’s going to take the entire colony to move this rock.” The other ants hesitated a moment, then they took off in all different directions.
This time the other ants were gone for a very, very long time. The sun was starting to fall, and the first ant was now angry.
“Stupid useless ants,” he cursed under his breath. “If I were queen, things would be so different. The jobs would make sense. They would be jobs that any ant could do. For one thing, we wouldn’t waste time trying to move giant rocks.” That was when the whole ant colony arrived, including the queen.
“Tell us what to do,” the second ant said.
The first ant stood on top of the rock so everyone could see and hear him.
“Now, everyone surround the rock!” he commanded. The other ants moved into place around the rock. The queen stood close by to watch, her hands on her hips.
All the ants lifted at the same time. It was a serious struggle to get it off the ground. Every ant was wincing at the strain. They tried to move it as one but could not move under the weight of the giant rock. The queen was obviously not pleased.
“What’s wrong with you ants!!” she screamed. “You can’t even move a tiny, little rock?? You’re all useless! When I give an order, I want it followed! Move this rock now, you worth bunch of lazy louts!”
In her fury, the queen ran under the rock. Using her big sharp pinchers, she prodded at the ants. The ants made one final attempt to move forward, but of course they could not. The rock slipped from their collective grasps and slammed to the ground.
The queen was gone.
All the ants looked to the ant on top of the rock as if to say, “what do we do?”
The first ant did not know what to say. He tried to speak. The only thing he could think of to do was to move that damn rock.
He finally said: “Everyone surround the rock!”