A king and a queen were having dinner when a male ant picked up a grain of food from the queens plate and put it into the king’s plate. The she-ant rebuked the he-ant saying that taking anything from a woman’s share to give to the man was against dharma. The king was a very learned man who knew the language of the animal world too. He was amused by the reaction of the she-ant. He laughed. The queen too was watching and told the king to ask the ant why she did as she did. The king asked her and the ant said, “Are you asking me the question because you want to know the answer or just because the queen wants to know and you can’t refuse her.”
The queen pestered him to tell her what the ant was saying but the king was too embarrassed to say anything. The queen lost her temper and said, “You will have to tell me what this insolent ant said; even if it is the last thing you do before you die.”
The king thought, if I have to die after telling her, I might as well die in a good place. So he started walking towards temple, so that he would die there just after telling the queen. The queen followed him.
On the way they came across a he-goat and a she-goat fighting. The she-goat said, “Get me fresh grass from the rim of the well”. The he-goat said, “The rim of the well is slimy and slippery. If my foot slips I will fall into the well. I am not going to get it.” “You never listen to me,” said the she-goat angrily. The male said, “Why should I? I have a mind of my own to think. I am not like the stupid king who decides to die, just because the queen won’t stop nagging him for an answer.”
Suddenly the king realised what a fool he was behaving like. He told the queen that he had decided not to tell her the answer of the ant. Come what may!
Even the queen had to give up her abstinence. In marital relationships, it is good to care for the others feelings. Respect for each other is important. But making a fool of the other person for ego satisfaction is ridiculous. The home, the workplace and the society are all the training grounds of tolerance. The relationship with each other must be based on love and respect, not fear. Only the atmosphere of love and respect can guarantee happy and cordial relations.