Try, Try, Again
A Children's Story Classic
There was once a famous ruler of Tartary whose name was Tamerlane. Like Alexander
the Great, he wished to become the master of the whole world. So he raised a great army
and made war against other countries. He conquered many kings and burned many cities.
But at last his army was beaten; his men were scattered; and Tamerlane fled alone from
the field of battle.
For a long time he wandered in fear from place to place. His foes were looking for him.
He was in despair. He was about to lose all hope.
One day he was lying under a tree, thinking of his misfortunes. He had now been a
wanderer for twenty days. He could not hold out much longer. Suddenly he saw a small
object creeping up the trunk of the tree. He looked more closely and saw that it was an
ant. The ant was carrying a grain of wheat as large as itself.
As Tamerlane looked, he saw that there was a hole in the tree only a little way above, and
that this was the home of the ant. "You are a brave fellow, Mr. Ant," he said; "but you
have a heavy load to carry."
Just as he spoke, the ant lost its footing and fell to the ground. But it still held on to the
grain of wheat.
A second time it tried to carry its load up the rough trunk of the tree, and a second time it
Tamerlane watched the brave little insect. It tried three times, four times, a dozen times,
twenty times--but always with the same result.
Then it tried the twenty-first time. Slowly, one little step at a time, it crept up across the
rough place where it had slipped and fallen so often. The next minute it ran safely into its
home, carrying its precious load. "Well done!" said Tamerlane. "You have taught me a
lesson. I, too, will try, try again, till I succeed."
And this he did.
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