The Language of the Ants
Once upon a time there was a king who had a garden blooming all four
seasons with many promenades, blessed with much flowing water and all
species of birds found on branches while their songs echoing
And there was a school of peacocks, most beautiful and wonderful
indeed. One day the king asked for one of the peacocks and ordered a
leather garb sewn for it such that all its beauty would be covered so
it will not be able to see its own beauty and furthermore the king
ordered a small basket to be placed on the peacock’s head with a small
hole so seeds can be feed and its vision occluded.
Much time passed and this peacock forgot itself, the king, the garden
and the rest of the peacocks. When it looked upon itself all could see
was the miserable leather garment and nothing else! Therefore it
eventually deduced that for it there is nothing more beautiful than the
leather garb and the basket on the head, and thus concluded with
conviction: Whosoever has any claim beyond the leather and the basket
is stupid and absolutely ignorant.
However anytime a breeze passed through the little hole on the
head-basket carrying the scent of the trees and the flowers, such
anxiety would engulf the peacock thus made conscious with a peculiar
yearning to fly with verve. But it could not fathom the source of the
yearning, since all it remembered was the leather garb and the basket’s
hole through which the seeds pushed through. The peacock had forgotten
everything. And even when it heard the songs of the birds, especially
the other peacocks, again it was not aware where the sounds came from
or who made them.
For the longest time the peacock asked itself: Where do the breeze and
the songs come from? But never figured out the answer, and from time to
time some peculiar beatitude would appear within, beyond the peacocks
will and control. The peacock’s ignorance stemmed from the fact that it
had forgotten the garden and itself. Any breeze or song would spark a
yearning without any sense for the cause or the source.
A life time passed and the peacock was left in this bewildered state,
until such day the king ordered the removal of the leather garb and the
Once the veils removed from the peacock, it saw itself midst a
beautiful garden, saw itself, saw the garden, saw the birds, saw the
other peacocks and drown within the sorrows.
Cast of characters and the story’s elements:
The other peacocks
The leather garb
The head-basket’s hole
The songs of the songbirds
The day the peacock was garbed
The day the peacock was disrobed
The king’s order
The peacock’s induced amnesia
The peacock’s yearning
The peacock’s sorrow
The peacock’s blindness
The peacock’s bewildered state
The peacock’s eventual conclusion
The peacock’s question itself about the source of the breeze and the
Can you figure out the metaphors and re-write the story for human
Can you figure out why the photo of the Buzz Lightyear was chosen?
© 2005-2002, Dara O.