Late in the season of Summer, Mother Tapir and Mother Anteater bathed in a pool hidden deep within the Amazon. Shaded under the massive old trees, and refreshed by the cool waters, Anteater found herself feeling a bit philosophical.
"It's a cruel existence for us, isn't it?" She asked Tapir in a melancholy manner. Tapir slowly turned a skeptical gaze in her direction.
"What makes you say that, Anteater?"
"Well, look at us. Our sole purpose is to protect our children, but there's only one of us each. How can one person be expected to keep up with thousands of animals? And if we fail, we just cease to be. No second chances. I mean, you of all of us should understand. Your own children are so few..."
Tapir's face bore a calm but stern smile "My children have survived ice, leopards, and humans for ages upon ages. Your own ancestors survived the stomping feet of the dinosaurs, and the cataclysm that ended them. We aren't going to simply vanish overnight."
Anteaters face flushed with embarrassment.
"Of course, you're right old friend."
Tapir softened, feeling a touch of embarrassment herself.
"I didn't mean to scold you. Just look at it this way: We were there to guide our children through all of those perils."
"So perhaps they truly do depend on us more than we do them?" Anteater's melancholy had given way to friendly jest by this point.
Tapir simply smiled.