First there were the resident elephants, the matriarch and her beloved son who led the way and all other elephants followed. The old ant had seen the matriarch as a little girl and couldn’t believe that she could run amok destroying the forest ! When that happened, he gathered all the ants and started thinking of ways to get rid of the matriarch. The ants gathered in several places, and huge ant hills came about. The matriarch was disturbed. The old ant was really old and relied heavily on his protege, the young ant, who was very good in building ant hills. The matriarch never understood these ant hills and sent some of her emissaries to find out what was happening. The young ant sensed an opportunity to become a leader and agreed to drop the ant hills and started focusing on just one area of the forest where food was in plenty. The elephants dropped their spoor there and the young ant was able to feed his entire population and they made him their leader. The old ant just retired and was slowly forgotten.
Then a new elephant entered the forest and the young ant was very upset. The agreement with the matriarch was ok but he wanted to be known far and wide in the jungle. This new elephant had lovely long tusks and was loved by all the animals …. The matriarch was quickly ousted and the forest looked very different now. The new elephant was bringing a lot of change… For starters he was cleaning up the forest so that the ants and other pests could not run amok. They had to work hard to get their food and also had to clean up the forest. So the young ant decided on a game plan. He would march all his ants across the jungle, every time there was a dead carcass and help his ants eat their fill. He then would keep shouting that the new elephant was responsible for the killing. Anything bad that happened anywhere in the forest, he held the new elephant responsible. Like the crow had a belly ache, and the new elephant’s spoor was held responsible. Then the hyena lost a tooth while biting into a large bone and the new elephant was held responsible because he passed by that way and the hyena got distracted. A buffalo herd had a fight and one died, again the young ant held the new elephant responsible – well, the new elephant had gone to the water hole and the buffalo herd got disturbed and that ended in a stampede. A rogue monkey got killed by getting entangled in the vines and the young ant was hugely upset – the new elephant should have been at the spot and rescued the rogue monkey !!
And so the story kept unspooling … Every time the new elephant did something good and was praised by all the forest animals, the young ant would seethe with jealousy and find a way to blame the new elephant for something unrelated. The new elephant was wary and savvy, but didn’t take notice of the young ant much.
The young ant is constantly shadowing the new elephant in the hope that one day, he will catch the new elephant napping and he can quickly climb into his ears and kill him. The new elephant knows this and is constantly flapping his ears and the whole forest is watching the story unfold, many animals are praying that the new elephant stays and does more good for the forest, while some are rooting for the young ant ….
Who will win ? Imagine an ant managing the forest !!