Uncle Shailesh was visiting his sister’s family in India, from Toronto. He had brought a lovely pair of shoes for his nephew, Rishabh. He also gave him a large sized bar of Toblerone chocolate. Rishabh’s mouth watered at the sight of his favourite chocolate and his eyes shone with joy. In a jiffy he tore open one side of the pack; broke off a piece and popped it into his mouth. Yummy!
“Rishabh,” called out his friends Ashu and Bobby through the back door. “Come out, let’s play football.”
Rishabh quickly hid the chocolate behind his back and yelled. “I’m coming Ashu. Just wait for a minute.” He dashed to his room, and hid the chocolate behind a family photograph, that lay propped up on his table. They played outside for an hour. Tired and sweaty, they came back. As usual, Ashu and Bobby came to Rishabh’s room to relax and watch the Discovery channel on TV. Rishabh stood with his back to the table and carefully tucked the chocolate further away from the sight of his friends. There was no way he was going to give some to them!
Later, the two friends went home and Rishabh had dinner with his parents. Dad said, “Rishabh where is your chocolate, may I have a piece?” Now, there was no way Rishabh could refuse to share it with Dad. Reluctantly, he rose from his chair and went to fetch it from his room.
But, what was that? His precious chocolate was being devoured by hundreds of ants! They were scurrying all around the wrapper and were here, there and everywhere. Tears sprang out from his eyes, “Dad!” he screamed. Dad came running, fearing that Rishabh had hurt himself. He was shocked at the sight of the ants enjoying the king sized chocolate. Dad picked up the chocolate and shook the ants away; he tore open the wrapper, to see if there was any part that was untouched. But, No! The ants had reached right till the end. Dad just went out and quietly threw the bar of chocolate into the bin.
Later, Rishab sat in Dad’s lap. He was very sad. Dad said, “It seems that one little ant smelt your chocolate and thought to herself, ‘that smells yummy let me call my friends and we shall all have a feast together.’ So she called her entire clan and they had a wonderful time, sharing the chocolate, but… at your expense!”
Rishabh sobbed, “Yes Dad, if I had shared it with Ashu and Bobby in the first place, this would not have happened.”
There is great joy in sharing; selfishness gives only a limited feeling of elation. In that sense the ant is a great teacher; when it sees a lump of sugar, it never eats it alone; it always shares it with others.