Snacking on Ants
Once upon a time,
in my days of innocence,
I used to trail ants, following them from the kitchen
where they gather around crumbled cubes of sugar.
I trail them,
watching as they pass one grain
from ant to ant, careful not to roll it in dirt.
They march orderly,
Instinctively, covering thousands of ant-miles
from the kitchen to their castle,
six-human feet away.
The last to hold the grain gingerly puts it on a pile.
One hot afternoon,
I began to wonder what these tiny creatures would taste like;
If I bit off a head, would blood ooze like in the movies?
Would the rest mourn and curse me?
I turned to see if I was being watched.
Then I stooped –
Sensing my presence, they dropped the grain of sugar.
The line stood still, waiting for more signals.
They fled, scattered in all directions.
I pinned one down with my thumb, picked it up,
squeezing it between my fingers.
It neither screamed nor struggled –
Once in my mouth, it vanished!
I stood still,
Waiting to taste
The rest stood away from me, afraid, disappointed.
I could tell they were watching from
what they considered a safe distance.
I could tell, from how they form a semi-circle
away from me, that they knew what I had done.