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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)

TITLE: I'm So Unhappy All The Time
By Peter Stone


Ginger the cat trotted through the garden's long grass when she heard a faint crying. Pointing her ears down, she searched around until she found a small Harvester ant sitting on a rock. "What's the matter, little ant, why are you crying?"

The little black ant with a red head looked up at the cat towering above her, and moaned, "I can't do anything right, my whole life is a mess!"

Squatting down, Ginger said, "Oh, really? Then you really must tell me about it, and perhaps I can help you."

"Well," began the ant, "the other day I tried to spin a beautiful web, but nothing happened!"

"That's because you are not a spider," answered the cat, "only spiders can spin webs. What else in your life is a mess?"

"After that, I jumped off a tall flower so I could fly through the air like a butterfly."

"And how did that work?" queried Ginger.

The little ant dragged a claw across the rock. "Well, the wind blew me halfway across the yard, but I could not fly. Finally I crashed head first into that tree over there."

"I think, little ant, that to fly, you really need to have wings. And I'm sorry to tell you, but that's something you just don't have. Is there any more?"

"Yes, there is. After that I decided that to be happy in life, I wanted to paint pretty snail trails all over this rock," answered the ant after a moment.

The cat looked at the rock. "I can't see any snail trails."

The ant looked down sheepishly, "Well, um, that's because instead of laying a pretty snail trail, all I laid was a scent trail. It took me the rest of the day to tell my sisters that nothing was going down and to get off the rock."

That cat crossed her front paws and lay her head on them. "I know what your problem is little ant."

"You do? Great! Quickly, tell me!" demanded the Harvester ant.

"You are trying to be something you are not," said the cat, "and when you do that, your life does not work. You will always be frustrated and unhappy. There is a secret to being happy, do you want to know what it is?"

"Quick, tell me! I'm so unhappy all the time."

"To be happy, you have to be what God made you to be. And you are an ant." declared Ginger. "So, stop trying to be a spider, a butterfly, or a snail. And just be ant, and only do ant things. When you do ant things, you will be able to do them better than a spider or butterfly or snail can do them."

"And then I'll be happy?" asked the ant.

"Yep," nodded Ginger, "no spider can dig underground tunnels like ants. That must make you very satisfied. No butterfly can make a scent trail for its sisters to follow. That means ants have a great family that can work together. And no snail can carry something ten times heavier than itself. Wow, what a wonderful life you ants can have!"

The ant looked up, no longer crying, "I never thought of it like that! I'm going to run home back to my nest and my sisters, and I'm going to do ant things better than all the spiders, butterflies and snails!"

And so it is for humans. When we live the way God designed us to live, our lives will work, and we will be happy. So we need to choose Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour, and live for Him and with Him. But when we ignore God and try to live our life our own way, just like the ant, our lives will not work. We will not be happy.

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This article has been read 1054 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kristen Hester06/07/07
This is wonderful! I love it. It reads so smoothly. The language is perfect for kids and it teaches a great lesson.
Esther Gellert06/08/07
This is a wonderful story, with a great message. It's very well written and easy to read. Perfect for children.
Denise Pienaar06/08/07
This story contains a great lesson, not only for children, but for adults as well. I really enjoyed reading it.
Dee Yoder 06/10/07
This is a really good story. I love the "do ant things" advice! A great message done with humor and kindness. Perfect for children and grown-ups!
Jan Ackerson 06/12/07
Very good--kids respond well to this kind of object lesson.

A minor change I'd suggest for the last paragraph--just some switiching around of sentences so that you end with the positive, rather than the negative.

Find an illustrator for this one!
Joanne Sher 06/12/07
Excellent story - you did a wonderful job of teaching this lesson on a level children can understand. Great detail.
Jacquelyn Horne06/14/07
This is a good story for children. Adults could learn from this too.
Sheri Gordon06/14/07
Congratulations. This would make a wonderful children's book. I love the simple illustration of an important lesson -- for kids and adults.
Melissa Albrecht06/16/07
This is a gem!! I really enjoyed reading this one...and like the way the cat patiently listened to the ant. Great effort...and I agree with others that this should be published. Well done Peter!!