Pebbles

Once upon a time there was an ant girl called Petal. Petal was not welcomed by her Mom, who wanted to stay a girl. Yet Ant Dad asked Ant Mom to marry him and she said yes as she wished to be loved and paid heed to a lot. Ant Dad was dreaming to have a big family but Ant Mom had bad experience about the family so she did not like being a Mom. Although Petal was a pretty and well-shaped ant baby, no matter how loud she cried to be picked up, hugged and cared for by her Mom, Ant Mom was not willing to do that. So Petal accepted it with a heavy heart that she is not important either to Ant Mom or to Ant Dad as her Dad did not care for her either. She played on her own with her little toys, she was looking at the rays of sunshine chasing each other on the pebbles and after her little sister, Pistil was born on her little antennae. Pistil was sick a lot so she was surrounded by the thoughtful care of Ant Dad and that of Ant Mom which made Petal feel even worse. At times like this her heart was seized with jealousy which was only eased in the evening when her Mom sat next to her and read a story to her. One morning Ant Mom had a quarrel with Petal as she refused to put on her new dress.

“It is unbelievable how naughty you are, I do not understand how someone can be so ill tempered!” shouted Ant Mom. “No one is ever going to ask you to marry him! One day you will see, Petal!” added Ant Mom angrily and when Ant Dad came home from work she complained about Petal’s behaviour. Pistil wanted to snuggle up with the sad Petal but she was sent packing. “Go away, I am fed up with you!” Petal said and huddled herself up under the small twig.

Next day the sun was shining and the ant children ran out to the meadow and enjoyed each other’s company. It was summertime and it was better to be outside than inside as their parents quarrelled more and more. Ant Mom was jealous of Ant Dad as her colleagues saw him with another ant under the bushes. No matter how hard Ant Dad was insisting that he was just talking with that other ant, Ant Mom did not believe him and the quarrel was followed by her slapping him on the face. The little ants got really scared and started to entreat their parents to stop quarrelling. Petal started to develop a tummy ache and Pistil caught pneumonia several times.

And it went on and on, day after day.

Ant Dad became grumpy.

“Look at yourselves, girls! It is high time to go to the hairdresser!” he said.

But Petal wanted to have a long hair so that the wind could cling into it and fly her up to the tall tree from where she could see the stars at night. Beyond the starts there is Someone Who loves her. Ant Dad and Ant Mom soon got divorced and left. Ant Mom moved over the brook with a young and handsome Ant Boy. Ant Dad also found a hussy Ant who did not want Petal and Pistil as she had already had two ant children.

Soon Petal grew up and knew that she had to go to school if she wanted to stay alive so they kept going to the ant school where the other children were sent by their parents with little cookies in their lunch box. Petal did not bring any cookies to school, she just sat at the desk and told no one that she did not have parents. One day she found pebbles on the side of the brook and named them Shame, Rejection, Violence, Isolation, Lie, Lust and Resentfulness. These pebbles became her best friends, she hauled them with her everywhere and she pretended that they would and could protect her.

Some kind of a bad conscience gnawed at Ant Dad as at dawn when the sun rose he visited his daughters when they were awakening.

“Oh, look at you!! Your hair is a mess! What rag are you wearing?” – said he when the girls looked at him with still sleepy eyes.

The ant girls quickly learnt that the most important thing is Beauty and Petal found a small pebble she called Beauty and another one which she named Vanity. This way her little bag grew heavier and heavier, which she carried with herself all the time. This bag protected her but it also prevented others from becoming truly close to her.

Petal got married and soon she had a baby girl followed by another one. Her marriage started out well as for a while she had other pebbles such as Friendship, Safety and Peace which had replaced her old pebbles. Yet these new pebbles were so tiny that she soon lost them and the old ones such as Touchiness, Rejection and Violence became stubborn dwellers of her bag again. Petal cried a lot and felt worse and worse.

She got divorced and was left with her two daughters and three pebbles of Lust, Lie and Vanity. Due to the inspiration of these pebbles, she felt that Love is the most important thing in her life which she kept picking up like little precious stones from the side of the road, though their glimmer was fake. Sometimes when she was very sad, she climbed up onto the top of the tree of her childhood and gazed at the stars looking for a face of Someone Who loves her. One day in August when she was perching on top of the tree, counting the shooting stars a door opened and Someone came out. His purple coat covered the little shivering ant girl.

“Have courage! Do not be afraid! I love you! I have always loved you” said a gentle voice.

“Do you know me? And do you still love me?” looked at Him Petal in surprise “It cannot be! No one loves me! I am not loveable, I am bad. Nobody wants me” replied the little ant sadly.

“I have formed you. I wove your little body together in your Mom’s womb. Petal, you are beautiful! You are precious! I love you so much that I have died for you” told her the singular Being with long hair and picked the little body into His palms.

Is it sure? said Petal, still not believing yet she felt safe there on that huge and yet gentle palm. For the first time in her life her old pebbles started to fall out of her bag she carried on her tiny back for so long; Lust, Lie, Vanity, Shame, Refusal, Violence, Isolation and Resentfulness. Petal could hold the shining pearl of Freedom for a moment. It is true that afterwards she was searching for her old pebbles several times but she did it more and more rarely since day after day she felt more pure, more gentle, filled with more love.

Soon she realized that a lot of her mates had invisible pebbles which they dragged in their bag resulting in an obstacle for them to live out their Freedom.

Today Petal takes it as her responsibility to help others on the road to that huge and gentle hand where the crystal of Safety, Peace and Love are. Although in the past she could not resist to refrain herself from giving advice right at the beginning nowadays it is getting easier and easier for her to just be there for people and listen to them attentively. A talent was given to her to initiate things and now she knows that it is not the most important thing that she is right all the time. She became able to let go and she can trust more and more that nothing happens by mistake. She believes it more and more that she can be loved. No matter how long her hair is, she can be loved for who she is. Today she has another pebble called the ability to Forgive so she does not think that Ant Dad and Ant Mom are the most vicious beings on Earth. She is hoping that one day she will be forgiven too by her two daughters for those things she had failed to do while having brought up her two little ant daughters.

Ms. Edit Konkoly

Budapest

8th May, 2017.