Children's Literature

New House of Ants – Children’s Literature from Uzbekistan

The prize-winner writer Gulnoz Tojiboyeva shares one of her stories written for children

Story of the homeless ants in search of new home after their abode was washed away by rainwater stream

Gulnoz Tojiboyeva

Gulnoz Tojiboyeva, a writer, journalist, scriptwriter, movie translator, designer, artist-restorer, was born in 1991. She is a member of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan and a member of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London). Gulnoz got first place in the Republican seminar of young writers of Uzbekistan in the nomination “Children’s Literature” category. In 2009, she won regional and city stages of the Zulfiya State Prize. She also won 1st place of the International Central Asian myths, fairy tales, legends prize for her screenplay ‘Jayhun and Alanga’ in South Korea in 2014. Gulnoz is the author of 6 books and has translated more than 20 movies into the Uzbek language.

 

New House of Ants

The ant family lived peacefully in an anthill built between the roots of an old tree stump. The ants were friends with butterflies, bees, snails and grasshoppers living in the meadow, and even went to visit each other.

One spring it rained heavily all day. Rainwater, collecting in depressions, formed puddles, and quickly flowed in deep places. One of these streams of water flowed near the stump in which the anthill was located. The stream of water loved to overcome obstacles encountered on its way, break and carry them away with the current, and also fill the hollows.

The stump in which the anthill was located blocked the way for the flow of water. The stream hit the stump once twice … It turned out to be not easy to defeat the stump, which had not yet rotted away. Then the stream came up with a cunning maneuver. It surrounded the stump on all sides and began to check if he had any weak points. Suddenly it noticed countless holes in the stump – corridors leading to the anthill.

Finding the weak point of the enemy, the stream of water was delighted and began to penetrate through the holes. The ants were taken aback, but managed to escape, only taking with them the sleeping babies in pupae. Still, many ants were carried away by the stream of water.

AnthillSeeing that their house was submerged, the stunned ants decided to build a new one. They set off in search of a suitable place to build a new anthill. They searched for a long time and, finally, they met Dandelion, proudly growing in the clearing.

– This place is very convenient for building an anthill! One of the ants exclaimed.

“You’re right,” said the other. – The glade is very beautiful. In addition, Dandelion can protect us from the sun’s rays on hot summer days.

– Oh-oh-oh, that’s invented, eh! Dandelion shouted. – What makes you think that I agree to protect you from the sun? Get out of my clearing quickly!

The ants were offended, but did not say a word and set off again. After a long journey, they came across a willow, which was struck by lightning and broke the upper part, and the surviving stump tried to survive and gave new young shoots.

– If we build a nest between the roots of this willow, it will be very cool! – said one of the ants.

Ants-1Before the second ant could answer him, the willow bent its branches and began to drive away the ants:

– Hey, homeless ants! Get out of here quickly! If you don’t disappear from my eyes, I will crush you all!

The frustrated ants set off again. On the way, they came across a large, ripe red apple.

– Shouldn’t we build an anthill inside this apple? – One ant dreamed aloud.

Suddenly a shout rang out over his head:

– Hey, this is my house! Get out of here immediately! Get out!

The ants looked up and saw a large, fat caterpillar sticking its head out of the hole in the apple. The caterpillar was much larger than the ants, so they silently continued on their way.

Towards evening, the ants reached the plain at the edge of the forest. They rested a little, and then got ready for the journey. Suddenly they saw a hole dug in the ground.

– This pit is very suitable for our anthill! – said one of the ants, looking there. – And you don’t need to dig the ground…

But before he could finish, suddenly a jet-black nose appeared from the pit, and then coal-black eyes.

– I’m sorry, what?! Someone shouted in a shrill voice. – Are you going to break into my house? Do you hope that I will admit it? No, don’t get your hopes up! Get out before I eat you all!

Recognizing the mole that was the owner of a deep burrow underground, the ants hastened to escape.

They ran until nightfall and stopped in a meadow to spend the night. Exhausted, they lay down on dry ground among the grasses and prepared to sleep.

– Ah, we walked so much, but we could not find a suitable place to build our house! – said one of the ants. – What should we do now?

Suddenly a voice rang out over the head of the ants:

– Hey, ants!

The ants looked around. There was no one around.

– I’m here! – Said the same voice.

The ants turned around and saw a white mushroom, which was importantly standing a little further from them.

– My dear ants, I’m tired of living alone! – said the mushroom. – Maybe I’ll become your home? You will get rid of wandering, looking for a new home, and you will save me from loneliness!

– Agreed! – answered the ants in chorus.

The ants quickly called their relatives. The ants started construction work, and soon the white mushroom turned into a beautiful anthill. The ants, with their countless relatives and babies lying inside the pupae, settled in a new house. Then they invited a butterfly, a bee and a snail to visit.

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