Ants

Crush a bit of biscuit
And spread it on the ground
Watch the little ants that come
Running all around.

Swiftly they will organise
The task that they must do
Which is to carry every crumb
Back to their home as food.

They do not waste a second
Nor eat the food they find
Selflessly, without a fuss
They perform their tedious task.

The heavier crumbs they lift in groups
With each ant holding a part
They move in perfect order
With speed and skill they tug.

Watch the busy ants at work
And you wonder why they live
If all they do is bring home food
What boring lives they lead.

But what are we compared to ants
When we too live to work
We set out minds to accumulate wealth
With time for nothing else.

What ant-like lives we all must lead
And ignorant we must be
Like ants, which toil throughout their lives
Only death can set us free.

Teo Soh Lung
April 1990

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