An ant was scurrying busily back to his anthill with some small grain. “What a waste,” a parrot said as it settled down by him. “All this effort, and it will all come to nothing when a bull happens to step on your hill and crush it.”
The ant took notice of the parrot’s words and scurried away towards the fence. “Even worse!” the parrot called. “There are even more animals in that pasture over there!”
But the ant was not headed to the other pasture. The ant had stopped at the fence and was scouting for locations for a new hill under the fence itself. “Even worse!” the parrot called. “Birds that pray on ants will perch above you on the railing, and the uncropped grass that grows underneath the fence will block your view of them. You will be devoured!” The ant then looked for a barer patch under the fence, but the parrot told him it was only bare because a rivulet sometimes flowed through it during rains, which would drown the hill. When the ant found a different spot that was bare of grass due to rocks, the parrot warned the ant that the rocks would surely absorb the heat of the sun and bake the ant.
“I was foolish to listen to you,” the ant replied. “Your warnings reflect no considered judgment. I will return to my hill, reflect on what is to be done, and do what I can. Apart from that, I will be merry, because frantic fretting will do nothing to ward off disaster.”
Moral: Spend your worry frugally.