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The Ant and the Pigeon (Friends Come in all Sizes)

Published February 15, 2008
Countries: Greece
Age Levels: 4-5 and up

A beautiful pigeon lived in the same tree.  The two saw each other every day.  Each watched the other leave the tree in the morning to work and get food to eat.  Each watched the other come back to rest at night.  They thought about talking to each other, but neither one spoke.  After all, how could a pigeon be friends with an ant?   What could a common ant say to a beautiful pigeon?  They were different in size and different in looks.

Winter came.  The two did not see each other for several long and cold months.  When spring came, the warm sunshine melted away the ice and snow.  Small green buds appeared on the tree.  The buds turned into leaves.  The pigeon flew back and forth all day making repairs to its nest.  The ant ran up and down the tree bringing food for his family to eat.

On one trip up the trunk of the tree, the wind caught the heavy load carried by the ant.  The ant fell down and down until he landed in a small clear stream below the tree.  The ant cried out.  But, ants cannot cry very loudly.  The ant splashed and splashed.  But, ants cannot make a splash that is very large.  Still, somehow the pigeon saw the trouble his neighbor was having. 

The pigeon pinched off a leaf from the tree and dropped the leaf down to the ant.  "Climb on!" he yelled.

The ant climbed onto the leaf and paddled his way to the edge of the stream.  When he made it home to the tree he thanked the pigeon.  "Some day, I will save you," said the ant.  "I will find a way to pay you back."

"You are just a little ant," said the pigeon.  "How could someone as small as you save the life of someone as big as me?"  The pigeon laughed.

It was the very next day when a hunter came into the woods with a gun on his shoulder.  The hunter looked up into the tree and saw the pigeon.  The hunter aimed his gun.  The pigeon did not see the hunter, but the ant did.  The ant ran to the end of a branch and dove through the air.  He landed on the hunter's collar.  He ran straight to the hunter's neck.  The ant bit down at the same time the hunter squeezed the trigger of his gun.

"Ouch!" shouted the hunter.

"Bang went the gun."  The hunter jerked his head when he shot.  The bullet hit the leaves just above the pigeon.  The pigeon awakened in a hurry in time to see the hunter brush the ant off his neck and to the ground.  The pigeon flew away, and the hunter left the forest, angry that he had missed his shot.

The pigeon flew home just in time to see the ant climb back up the tree.  This time the pigeon spoke.  "Thank you for saving my life," he said.  "I was wrong.  Someone small can help someone big.  We may be different, but we can still be friends."

After that day - the beautiful pigeon and the little ant still lived in the same tree.  Each watched the other leave the tree in the morning each day to work and find food to eat.  Each watched the other come back to rest at night.  Every time one saw the other they now spoke in a kind way.  Even those who are very different in size and looks can still be friends.


Dr. Mike Lockett is an educator, storyteller and children's author from Normal, IL. Dr. Lockett has given more than 4000 programs across the USA and as far away as eastern Asia. Contact Mike by writing to in order to book him for a storytelling program or young authors program or to inquire about purchasing his books and CDs. The illustration at the top was created by Chung Yi-Ru. copyright, 2014 - owned by Mike Lockett.  More stories and information about storytelling can be found at