http://www.ymba.org/parable/parabfr3.htmPARABLE 077: KARMA OF AN ANT
One day, during the time of the Buddha, Mahakasyapa (the highest in wisdom among Arhats) was standing beside Anathapindika (the most famous benefactor of the Order) in the Jeta Grove. They were overseeing the ground breaking for the Jetavana Monastery.
Suddenly, a hint of sadness crossed Mahakasyapa's face. Anathapindika asked him what had happened.
Pointing to a black ant scrambling amidst the rubble, Mahakasyapa recalled that for untold eons past, during the times of six trans-historical Buddhas, that ant had remained an ant.
Even now, under Buddha Sakyamuni, the seventh Buddha, when Mahakasyapa himself had become an Arhat, the poor ant, after eons of rebirth, was still just an ant, condemned to scavenge for scraps of food, condemned to the sufferings of an insect's life -- as devoid as ever of wisdom!
"It is only thanks to my spiritual penetration that I know this," explained Mahakasyapa.
On hearing this, Anathapindika was deeply moved and could not but shed a tear of sadness.