To understand work I first looked at the ants, who work so hard they are called worker ants, as if they exist in a permanent state of work. They are just like the bees, the worker bees, protecting the queen of their hive. Such short leisure time in such short, pitiful lives.
I looked at the rat. There is no worker rat so they must not work as hard, but they scurry at night, running from trash heap to trash heap. Perhaps they know leisure more than the ant knows leisure, but so much time they have to spend to forage for food—and so scared they are, trying to outwit man and his cruel traps.
I looked at the lion. The lazy lion, lazy without a doubt, relaxing in the shade, sleeping, licking his paws, resting between meals. The little cubs who know nothing but play and the king lion who lets the women do all the work of the hunt. The lion, I’m assured, knows much less work than the ant, the bee, and the rat.
I looked at the elephant. Even lazier! Sucking in water by the pond, always bathing and snacking on greens from the trees. But alas, elephants and lions are not very smart animals. Smarter than the ant, the bee, and the rat, for sure, but not as smart as the others.
I looked at the gorilla. Man’s little brother. But he’s the laziest of them all! Fucking and eating all day, cleaning the fleas off his fur and scratching his ass in the jungle without a care in the world. How much time would I have to sit and wait to see him break a sweat!
I looked at my fellow man. With such large brains they must have figured out how to work even less. But wait—he is like the ants and the bees! One third of his waking life into his labor; labor for another—labor he hates! What a twist of fate, a horrible mistake—what an unhappy and busy lot! How lucky is the queen who see the fruits of his labor—what a life for her!
If only the gorilla could laugh, he would surely laugh at the human, who has decided to strain and bend his back lower than him. And laugh he does. The gorilla, you see, does not have to ask to take a vacation. But the human, the poor human—he must bow his head ever so slightly and speak with a soft, gentle voice, and he must ask permission, and hope that it is granted. He must always please his queen.