Friday, July 6, 2012

I almost ate an ant.

When an ant bites you on the lip, it really hurts. How do I know? I have a throbbing welt on my lip. That's how I know. Let me give you the whole story.
I have a vegetable garden, and in that garden I grow lettuce. This year I am growing Buttercrunch and Red Sails. Two tasty heirloom varieties that blow away the chemically treated store-bought crap I buy the rest of the year. This morning I harvested some of the crop. Just enough for supper or perhaps to bring in my lunch tonight. I brought it in and left it in a bowl. Before I left for work I took the roots off and washed and spun the lettuce. I knew it wasn't perfect but it is said that you eat a peck of dirt before you die. No big deal. So I'm munching away on my salad like a good little bunny (which have yet to invade my veggies. Knock on wood.) when I feel an intense stabbing pain on my upper lip. My first thought was "Why is there something sharp in my salad?" But when I put my fingers to my lip they came away holding a squirming ant! I flung the little bastard to the ground. I have no idea whether it survived or not. (It didn't, I went back and checked.) And I'm assuming it was a bastard because I believe most ants are male, ants don't get married, and I highly doubt the queen could tell me who that ant's father was. And it bit me. I can hardly blame the ant though. Can you imagine what the experiences he endured over the day would have been like? The majority was probably alright. Just hanging out in an environment very similar to his previous locale with a few buddies. (There were other ants) But then his whole world was turned upside down.
Violent motions as I lift the lettuce from the bowl and cut the bottoms of the leaves. Clinging for dear life as I repeatedly rinse and shake the excess water from the produce. Whirling and whirling as the vitamin rich roughage is spun like a centrifuge only to be stuffed inside a virtually air-tight box to suffocate. When at last a rush of cool fresh air washes over the bastard's thorax, he again can feel hope. That hope is quickly dashed as the ant's unfathomably huge torturer douses ant and fibrous greens alike in zesty Italian dressing. Next, the worst of the ordeal thus far. The lid is once again snapped shut and the whole prison is thrown back and forth with whiplash inducing fervor. The bastard now realizes his captor is a relentless sadist and his only chance for survival is escape. In a doubtless disoriented state the bastard desperately tries to find a way out. But now it appears his demented nemesis is done toying with his quarry. Panic begins to set in as the demon thrusts his pitchfork of death right through the very leaves the bastard sought to hide under and stuffs them into his maw, masticating them into oblivion. Against all odds, the bastard steels his resolve and decides not to go down without a fight. The queen would expect better than for one of her soldiers to die a coward. The bastard anticipates his adversary's next move. Narrowly avoiding his end by the prong of the weapon, the warrior manoeuvres himself into attack position as he is lifted towards the demon's gaping mouth. At the last possible moment, he springs from hiding and lands on the precipice. His presence does not appear to be detected by the unholy beast. Salvation is at hand. Escape is within his grasp. As retribution for the horrors the demon has subjected the poor, innocent ant to, the warrior gives the beast a parting shot before fleeing to freedom. With a battlecry of "For the Queen!!" the bastard warrior sinks his venomous mandibles into the vulnerable flesh with every microscopic ounce of his exoskeleton encrusted being. Too quickly the monster reacts to the searing pain radiating across his grizzled face and plucks our would-be hero from his anchor in a vice-like grip and with a look of disgust, flings the brave soldier to his doom.
This is where the ant's story ends. Whether the bastard succumbed to his injuries or was crushed under the gargantuan weight of some other equally foul beast is not known. His flattened body still lies discarded and forgotten on a cafeteria floor. His noble brothers and regal queen will never know of his bravery in the face of certain death. The ant bards will sing no tales of The Bastard. Only you dear reader, will know the truth of what happened that fateful evening.

No comments: