Fable about the origin of the anteater.
One day, in a small sunny glade there was a very small, oddly shaped animal lying in the grass. The wind ruffled its pelt, sending off small shivers of wind down its brown fur, all the way down to a slash of dark fur on its side, and gently ruffling its bushy tail. I wonder where I am it thought slowly. Its small stomach gave a soft whine. Looks like I need to find some food it thought as it slowly rose up on wobbly legs.
“Hello child” said a, plump, pink pig rising up behind him. “It seems you’ve finally awoken” she said with a yawn. “Good thing too, because I was getting a little tired of waiting for you.”
“Excuse me?” it said in a rasping, quiet voice “I don’t know what you’re talking about, but where I am and what is this place?”
“Oh, where are my manners? My name is Penny the pig, and I’ll be your gatekeeper to life!” said Penny with a snort.
“Um……yeah…..about that……what?!” it said with a note of confusion.
“What is there not a brain in that oddly shaped melon? You’re in the glade of life, where all the animals come from!” said Penny exasperatedly.
“Hey, that’s just rude! Who makes everyone anyways?!” it said with a hint of annoyance in its voice.
“God makes everyone of course, and for a purpose! That reminds me, you should get going and find your purpose!”
“I don’t even know my name, let alone my purpose!”
“You want a name? Fine, you’re Arvy the Eater! Now go to those bushes over there and close your eyes!”
“Ok….” Arvy said quietly as he hobbled over to the bushes. “What do I do now?” he asked as he quickly scanned the surrounding underbrush “Whoa, where’d the glade go?” Spying a small, beaten down trail through the underbrush, he followed it until he reached a clear, flowing brook. Bending over to take a drink, he was startled when a small voice behind him said
“Hey, what are you doing at my watering hole?”
“Oh, I’m sorry; I didn’t realize this belonged to you!!” Arvy spat out apologetically. He slowly turned around to see a small, slimy, green snake glaring up at him.
“Well, I’ll let you get away with it this one time because I’m generous “said the snake as she puffed up with pride “But I better not ever catch you here again!!”
“I’m sorry, what can I do for you?” asked Arvy
“What?!” the snake said in confusion “Well,” said the snake, recovering from its momentary confusion “ if you could find something interesting for me to do, I’d be more than happy to forget this little ‘incident’.”
“Well, I don’t know anything interesting, but I’m going to find my purpose. Care to join me? It might be interesting” said Arvy brightly
“Eh, why not. It’s better than sleeping here all day and scaring schmucks away from this crummy little river” said the snake “The name’s Sally, Sally the snake. So, what’s your name Chuck?” Sally said boldly.
“My name is Arvy, Arvy the Eater.”
“Well Arvy, do you have any idea what you were made for? “
“Not in the slightest.”
“Hmm…well….what DO you eat anyways? Anything? Were you made to just eat and eat and eat and eat until there’s nothing left?” Sally inquired
“Um, no nothing THAT crazy” said Arvy as his stomach gave an angry growl of pain.
“Ouch, that doesn’t sound so good. We gotta get some food in you stat! Follow me to the village!!” Sally yelled as she took off through the dense, leafy underbrush.
“Wait for me!” Arvy yelled behind her as he sprinted in the direction she had taken.
After a long sprint and some bad directions, Arvy finally managed to catch up to Sally, who was waiting for him at the top of a small rise.
“Took you long enough!” Sally exclaimed “I thought I’d lost you back at the fork tree!”
“Well you didn’t exactly leave an easy path to follow through the river, into the cave, running out of the cave, zigzagging around the trees and finally ending with a GRACEFUL CLIFF DIVE!!” Arvy exclaimed in exasperation.
“Well, it doesn’t matter, we’re here now. Try and pick yourself up enough to look down” she said calmly.
“I don’t see what could possibly be there, maybe it’s another cliff!” Arvy said as he managed to get to his legs with a grunt. “Whoa.” He whispered as he looked out over the narrow valley filled with small tall, leafy trees. Even from a distance, the sound of yelling and screeching of animals permeated his ears.
“Yep, if we’re gonna find out what you eat, it’s probably in there.” Sally said confidently as she started on a small, beaten, path on the side of the hill. Arvy followed closely behind, intimidated by calls he heard throughout the forest.
As the sun set, they tried everything they could think of. Apples, bananas, beans, carrots, peas, raspberries, loganberries, strawberries, corn, wheat, barley, nuts, watermelons, blueberries, blackberries, potatoes, wild mushrooms, pomegranates and the elusive nom-nom fruit.
“It’s hopeless; I’ll never find my purpose!! I can’t even find anything to eat!” Arvy said with sigh of increasing weariness
“Don’t be like that! I bet your purpose is lurking just around the corner!” Sally said as a high voice suddenly yelled
“Help! Someone please help! Oh my gosh so much pain help!”
“We should go help. That sounded like a lot of pain!” Arvy said in a panic as he rushed around the corner, Sally right behind him.
As they rounded the corner, they entered a smaller, more cramped clearing protected by tall, leafy trees casting long, shady shadows in the lingering sunlight.
“Hey! You! Stop gawking and get this boulder off of me! I can feel my insides liquefying!” a particularly cheeky monkey snapped from beneath a boulder.
“Well.... I don’t know what to do. Any ideas Sally?” Arvy asked gingerly.
“Well,” Sally mumbled “we could put some ants on it. Ants are great at moving things!”
Taking a moment to scan his surroundings, Arvy noticed a large ant hill with large, red ants buzzing along the surface. Taking a large leaf, he managed scoop up a large number of the ants and dumped them on the boulder.
“I don’t think its working” Arvy said in a disappointed tone.
“Ah ah ow ow ow! What are you doing up there!?My skin is burning!!” yowled the monkey.
“We put ants on the boulder.” answered Arvy.
“Ants are really good at moving things!” Sally chimed in.
“These are fire ants!! Also, ants can’t move boulders!” the monkey cried “Fire ants BURN!!ALOT!!Get them off of me!”
“Well...... I could try to.....eat them?” Arvy said in a confused tone “Besides, I’m hungry enough to do it anyways!”
Arvy added as his stomach gave a jaw dropping grumble of hunger. “Well, here I go.” Arvy said with uncertainty as he licked up a stray fire ant. “Hey, this is pretty good!” Arvy said with happiness between mouthfuls.
Half an hour later, there were no more ants left in the entire forest.
“OH. MY. GOD” Sally said in a complete state of shock.
“What, I was hungry!” Arvy said in an irritated tone.
“That was a massacre. Your jaw unhinged like.....well like..... a snake!” Sally said in horror.
“Well at least I know my purpose now. I think I’ll go clean up some other forests. Do you wanna come?” Arvy asked.
“Eh, why not, that was pretty fun. I hope all the ants of the world flee in terror.” Sally responded.
From that day forward, Arvy was known as the Anteater, and Sally, his faithful friend went on to travel the world, massacring most of the ants in the known world. No one ever knew what happened to that monkey, and frankly, no one really cared.