Solomon’s Ants


"He does not possess wealth; it possesses him." ~ Benjamin Franklin

You know what’s the worst side about being the powerful man on earth?

For the record, let it be known that no man or king or jinn who was as miserable, as lonesome, as disgustedly powerful as King Solomon was.

Not only that was raised a king, also bestowed upon him powers that reached all kinds of the the Lord’s whims: Man, Jinn, Beast and Elements.

Since the Jinn could hear thoughts, all that Solomon needed was to think them and his wishes were granted. Since the Elements were under his command, all that he needed was flick his fingers and stones erected themselves into magnificent palaces, fire blazed and cooked, and the zephyrs carried him as far as his fancy. And back.

And man? Pah! The frailest, most predictable, and proudest of Solomon's subjects. Whether celebrity-struck or jealous, they would kiss Solomon’s feet, kicking and screaming.

* * *

One day, on one of his extra-extravagant excursions, Solomon passed by a colony of ants. Like all ants, this bunch was busy toiling and working and piling food for winter.

The king asked the ants, “Guys, if you could take a break, answer this: What do you wish for?”

“Food, Your Majesty,” said the simple-minded ants, “That’s all we want, food for the winter.”

So the bored king thought, “Here’s something to do! Let’s feed the ants. How much could ants eat, right? Can’t be that much that the most powerful King on earth can’t fulfill.”

Hence began the task of feeding the ants. All of Solomon’s subjects (rolling their eyes) were ordered and complied to the act of gathering food for the ants.

The ants heard of this and gathered in one place. ALL ANTKIND. Soon, the first batch of food that Solomon gathered ran out. Whoosh. And the second. And the third and so forth.

Until there was no food left on earth but fed to the Ants.

Seriously, when the food on earth ran out, there were still more left ants unfed.

And the King of Man and Jinn and Elements fell to his knees, crushed under the mighty force of humility. For as mighty as he was, he could not feed mere ants.

Hence was his most potent, most sincere prayer upon all kinds and generations that followed: “Lord, grant no subject after me the the kind of power as I have been tested with.”

* * *

So you know what’s the hardest thing about being the most powerful man on earth?

No, not just the boredom. Nor the emptiness of convenience. Or the loneliness of knowing that those around you there because of your blitzy bling, and not for the blackness of your irises.

It’s smugness.

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