Friday, June 02, 2006

The Lost City of Antlantis

Ants are magnificent creatures. It is common knowledge that these arthropods can lift up to 50 times their own weight. In other words, a 110-pound person like me would have to lift a hefty 5500 pounds to accomplish the same feat. Put another way, a 120-pound person would be lifting 6000 pounds to duplicate the same task. To illustrate further, a 130-pound person should lift 6500 pounds of weight to be able to lift 50 times his or her own weight like an ant. Ain't it amazing?

This day, I discovered an anthill in our backyard. To be more precise, it was more sprawling than it was tall so the term ant-terrain might be more suited. It was early morning and I saw none of its residents running about, which is probably just as well considering the fact that being stung by numerous small creatures is of a very disagreeable nature, at least, in my opinion.

Did you know that, while most birds bathe in dust and water to clean parasites off their lovely feathers, a jay uses the acid made by ants. It stands on an ant's nest and lets hunderds of ants crawl all over itself. Another kind of bird, the Rufous woodpecker of Asia, lay its eggs in an ants' nest. I would have told you about the pangolin, a nocturnal scaly anteater, but revealing its relationship with the ants are something that is not to my taste. I really doubt anyone needed anymore of such flavorful data.

I had planned to get a camera to the scene, for I would really love to share it in this blog. Imagine, my first photo blogged ever! Unfortunately, I was deprived of this wondrous opportunity for, apparently, my mother had also discovered the same anthill. Later on in the day, I found the colony in flames, for my mother had summoned an underling to dump dry and flammable rubbish on top of the magnificent structure and set a flame to it, trash, organisms and all. I know my brows have always been knotted but I think I felt it furrow even more as it usually does when I witness the genocide of Mother Nature's children.

However, I believe the ants will survive. I know that a colony of ants is more united than the Government and the opposition. I know that their civilization will start rebuilding the former glory of their magnificent abode instead of tarrying by calculating how much monetary units' worth was damaged and then debating how resources and funds must be allocated. I suppose that a ravaged country would be more than pleased to sit down, have a cup of coffee (or tea, if you please) and talk how nice the weather is, before arguing whether funds should be swallowed by defenses (that disasters like these might never happen again), squandered by information campaigns (that everyone may know what really happened and what to do in case it happens again. After all, knowledge is power), guzzled by rebuilding efforts (we need our offices, right now. Without a proper working environment, the government cannot do its job) or simply declared non-existential (we don't need funds; what we need is faith, unity, prayer, a moment of silence, external aid, heroics, etc.) Ah, the complicated marvels made possible by the striking difference that our brains have more lobes and cortices than ants'.

Ants needed no form of identification to track the members of the same species worldwide so I doubt they really were that united. There are also wars between colonies when resources become scarce so I don't think they also understood the meaning of world peace. To them, such things are non-essential. Maybe it is their simple-mindedness that enables them to understand only one thing, they needed each other to survive.

These six-legged (five or four, if crippled badly) creatures are found almost anywhere. Perusing the special section of my room labelled "Paranormal" I unearthed, after a deadly battle with dust and crumbling pages, a note where I conveniently jotted down something I am now glad I jotted down. On September 8, 2005, I have found ants on my left shoe. Not just one, not two, not even three, not four, certainly not five, also not six, most probably not seven, I'm sure not eight, maybe not nine... I could go on and on. They nearly filled half of my shoe and had I gone ahead and put my foot in, I'm sure more than a hundred of Mother Nature's children would have been squished dead by then.

As it was, I ended up very startled so I threw the shoe out of my room, shook off the lump of ant-ness inside and torched the crawling mass. So yeah, more than a hundred of Mother's children died horrific deaths then. Still, I'd have been amazed after that genocide, I still find ants everywhere. They had the strength of Jews, homosexuals and political dissidents during the rule of der Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler.

So go ahead, stop and crush that red ant that's been painfully bugging you between your toes and you'd find yourself overwhelmed by its comrades. Examine them closely through a magnifying lens during high noon of a clear sunny day and, twenty years from now, you might find yourself a case of spontaneous human combustion (yes, the ants are responsible for that. 'took me long enough to figure it out). Burn down their nest and your lawyer would be most delighted to file arson charges on someone who hates your guts, or vice versa.

Who knows, maybe thirteen millenia from now, ants would rule over the earth.

It was a gloomy sunny day
in the cursed month of May
when one of my moms burned my sibs
and the other punched her in the ribs.

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