A fire destroyed a small town, and soon all the people who lived here packed up and left. The place was empty, but in some time, animals from the forest nearby moved in. The lake in the middle of the town soon became a popular spot for animals who came here for fresh and cold drinking water.
Many animals came here, elephants, leopards, tigers, lions, deer, monkeys, and even the tiny worms came here to drink water. The animals enjoyed washing themselves in the cold water of the lake. The worms had also built their wormholes on the route to the lake.
While all the animals made their way to the lake, the smaller animals were quite scared of, the larger animals. This was mainly a problem for the tiny worms who could easily be killed under the feet of the large animals. When the larger animals used to make their way to the lake, they would often put the lives of the worms at risk. They were most scared of being trampled to death, mostly by the mighty elephants.
The giant elephants did not see the them even as they made their way to the lake. They were worried about their lives, and they decided to speak to the elephants and request them to take a different route to the lake.
So, the bravest of all the worms spoke up the next time the elephants passed by. He shouted out in his tiny voice, to the mother of all elephants. He said, ‘Oh mighty one, we request you; please change your route to the lake, we are afraid that you will trample us under your large feet and destroy our tiny wormholes.’
He continued, ‘the problem is that we are so tiny and you cannot see us, you might kill us under your feet, crush our tiny homes, and you wouldn’t even know.’ The mother of all elephants, the largest and strongest of them all, found the tiny worm’s words amusing. She laughed out loud and said to him, ‘Oh you tiny little ones, you surely are small and difficult to see, we can surely crush you and your homes under our feet and never even know of it, God must not care for you much, to have made you so tiny.’
She was making fun of them, and they did not like it, but their leader pleaded with her anyway, ‘yes, it is true that you can crush us and our homes easily, so please change your route to the lake.’ She laughed out loud, but she took pity on them and agreed to go to the lake from another route the next time onwards. From then on, the worms were safe and happy in their wormholes.
As the summers got warmer, many of the furry animals were troubled by fleas. The blood-sucking insects caused them to scratch and itch, and their bodies were bloody and painful. The elephants were affected the most; there was no way they could reach all parts of their large bodies to scratch and itch, and they spent many restless nights and days troubled by the fleas.
They did try to find relief, they rolled around in the mud, rubbed themselves against the rough trunks of trees, and took many baths – but all of this was of no help. Their large bodies were scratched, dry, itchy, and painful. Nothing seemed to help.
But soon, the mother elephant noticed that a lion was free from ticks, unlike many of the other animals. So, she asked him, ‘you do not seem to be troubled by ticks, how did you get rid of them. He replied, ‘my friends, the worms, climbed all over my body, and ate up all the ticks, now I’m tick-free.’
She was amazed by how useful the tiny worms could be; she regretted making fun of them. She took the rest of her family and rushed to where they lived. From a distance away, so as not to step on the wormholes, she cried out, ‘oh great worms, please forgive us for making fun of your size, look at us now, we are troubled day and night by these blood-sucking ticks, only you can help us.’
The worms felt sad for the troubled elephants; they also remembered that they had promised to change their route and done so. All of them crawled out of their wormholes and climbed on to the bodies of the giant elephants. They got to work in every nook and corner, eating every tick, and soon the elephants were tick-free.
With all the ticks gone, the elephants were much relieved. Every single one of them was thankful for the useful worms. From then on, all of them were great friends. The elephants made sure to look out for their tiny friends and their tiny homes. The worms made sure that their large friends were always free of ticks.
Moral: Every creature on earth has a purpose and use.