The Rant A(i)n’t Over!

BrilliAnt was in a soup. At least in her dreams a few hours back, she was merrily floating on a leaf in a vast pool of green pea soup – a nutrient-rich haven (5% protein by the aroma, no less, mind you!). But now, back at work, that pleasant dream had turned into a stinking nightmare. The man child had chosen that very corner of the garden to urinate; luckily the stream mostly off-target – talk about small mercies! Standing there in the excessive bright light streaming in through an unwelcome largesse – a gaping hole in the roof of Sector MCMLXXII penetrating right down to level minus 12 bearing the vital storage strongholds – she was shooting out a series of commands, her pre-tarsus dipping in a cesspool of pee soup!

“AssistAnt, I want SealAnt, CoagulAnt and DilatAnt to get their much-satiated abdomens up here right away; this shaft has to be closed up before the skies open up. Also get DisinfectAnt, DeodorAnt and FragrAnt to report here on the double. I want this mess cleaned up and the entire Sector back in shape at the earliest. There is a new batch of MMXX eggs due to be delivered for the hatcheries any hour now. Ever since that nut ClairvoyAnt fed Queen PregnAnt the nonsense that hatching eggs in the North-West direction would bring great fortunes to the Colony, we have been besieged with eggs. If the Queen gets to know that we are raising her precious babes in such putrid climes, she will willing dig her eager mandibles into my unwilling gaster!”

As AssistAnt scurried off to fulfill the tasks, her antennae quivering with the exigency of the situation, BrilliAnt began to ponder on her immediate problem, which was yet unresolved – proteins! As the load of larvae increased, the demand for proteins was incessant, and there was no new source to be found in the immediate vicinity. She had sent a Special Action Ant Force to far off places in search of viands but the report did not enthuse her. Why was it taking so long for that damned fractured left antennae of AccountAnt to heal – she wanted to so get off this task (read “A(i)n’t Just a Rant!” for BrilliAnt’s tale of woes)!

Just then, CommunicAnt came blazing in, “Team Zeta has incoming! Team members HesitAnt, VacillAnt and DebutAnt are pushing some huge round white orbs this way! Team leader AdamAnt sends a sample to admire.” So saying, CommunicAnt handed over a piece of matter.

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BrilliAnt sniffed with her antennae and tore off a tiny bit with her mandibles, chewing and analysing the content. Her compound eyes lit up suddenly. “Hmm…yellow pea seed coat. This is outstanding; if true, we are looking at 19% protein! But this is just the testa; quick, get me a bit of the cotyledons,” she ordered CommunicAnt.

“Testa…caty…cotydondons…what’s that,” asked a puzzled CommunicAnt.

“I mean, this is just the outer coat of the peas, I need to taste the inner stuff to ascertain how good it is,” replied BrilliAnt patiently.

CommunicAnt appeared baffled, “Inner stuff? Inside there is only DebutAnt, pushing it here!”

“You mean to say they are bringing over empty shells!? That’s just a whole lot of cellulose and lignin. We have plenty of it down here. We needed what was inside!” BrilliAnt was exasperated.

“Well,” said CommunicAnt slowly, “those insides are inside the man child now. AdamAnt said the man child was eating and throwing these white round things on the ground. They smelled good, so the team started rolling them over.”

BrilliAnt was too dejected to retort. “Well, just instruct them to roll those down the ramp at Ingress VII and move to Store XIV. These are low priority. Tell me something, I had assigned the more experienced Team Sigma as backup. Were they asleep while the shells were being picked up?”

“You see,” replied CommunicAnt carefully, “apparently the team was running low on energy since yesterday. The man child had sprinkled some sugar grains on the ground and Team leader TriumphAnt asked the team to stock up on their carbs. So they were on the fringes, sucking at the sugar.”

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“Not at the expense of the Colony’s needs, the idiots,” roared BrilliAnt; then suddenly mellowed down, “oh well, the army can’t run on empty abdomens. But tell them…”

Before BrilliAnt could complete the sentence, a dreadful waft of pheromones pervaded the environs followed by a breathless ManifestAnt hollering with antennae erect, “Orange alert! Take evasive action! Man child approaches!”

BrilliAnt was barking out orders to AssistAnt, “Alert General CommandAnt immediately. Let him assess the situation. Meanwhile deploy our Sectorial Attack Squad MIX. Get the formic acid primed. Take positions. But attack only on the General’s orders. We do not…”

“WHUMP!!!” Something had fallen through the yet gaping hole in the sky, stuck somewhere at the top and hanging over level minus 12! BrilliAnt could sense it, poised millimetres above her trembling antennae. She looked up and a giant fried piece of chicken lollipop looked back at her. “31% protein” was the only thought that could make its way into her mind as she fainted, deliriously and promptly!

[Featuring: Yellow Crazy Ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), worker ants; Mumbai]

– Narendra Nayak © 2020

36 thoughts on “The Rant A(i)n’t Over!

    1. Thank you so much, Ma’am; I am delighted to know that you enjoyed reading it. 🙏🏻🙂
      As much as I love my tiny friends, I wouldn’t have the heart to part with a delicious fried chicken for the sake of a photograph! 😄

      Like

  1. Narendra, what a wonderful story! So creative, adventurous and humorous, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I can relate, too. I love to observe all creatures on this earth, including ants and my imagination often leads me to intricate plots about their lives and going ons.
    Same goes for people. When I find myself in a public space and have the chance to observe humans, I always observe them and imagine their life, their day, their woe, they joy. I often even find myself in tears, as I empathise too much..I know it’s silly, but there you go..
    Keep up the amazing work, your pictures and beautiful and your posts are not just a treat to read, but also a reminder to many, that our world does nor revolve solely around us humans (thank goodness). There are mesmerising creatures, all around us sharing our planet. Thank you 🙏😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so very much, Theresa, for your wonderful words of appreciation. They are a huge dose of encouragement and much cherished. 🙏🏻
      I’m delighted that you enjoy reading my work; I hope I can continue to write such tales that makes our fellow creatures more endearing to my friends and gets them respect and due acknowledgement of their presence in the world we share! 🙂
      Thank you also for sharing your thoughts and a slice of your life. I think I can connect very well with it. I would love to read more about it on your blog, besides those amazing recipes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is a wonderful suggestion, thank you 😊 I am in the process of upgrading the blog and creating a brand, which will include a lot more than just the recipes. We are also in the process of relocating, so it will take a while before I can focus on it again, but I can’t wait 😇 Have a wonderful day and stay safe

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s some awesome news, Theresa! I am sure you will build an amazing brand, one that will go places. My best wishes for your new endeavour and I look forward to experiencing your upgraded blog. Do be in touch. Take care. Stay safe. 🙏🏻🙂

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  2. Another BrilliAnt one!
    The names are so cool DeodarAnt, FragraAnt, DisinfectAnt. 😄
    The man child is so naughty yet he helps them to sustain. And I’m amazed this Ant knows what are cotyledons! 😂
    “I has assigned the more experienced Team Sigma…” Have will come here instead, I think the keys just played with you a little like they do with me.😅
    Again, beautiful pictures.
    Only if An Ant could read it! 🤩

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Once again, my sincere gratitude to you, Bhavya – for reading my story with such involvement, and for your warm words of appreciation. 🙏🏻
      “Had” actually, and thanks a lot for apprising me of the error. The years blunt the edge off my copy-checking! 🤦🏻‍♂️
      I don’t know how the Ants will take my interpretation of their actions, but if it makes them more endearing to my readers and earns them a little more respect, my job is done! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. Yeah, it happens. 😅 I also read my piece at least 5 times after publishing and still after a week when I read it again I find that “it’s” that should have been “its” 😂 So, cheers!
        I believe you’ve accomplished your purpose because whenever I’ll see an Ant again, I’ll remember your BrilliAnt! 😄

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the most SignificAnt Compliment (can I say ComplimAnt…naa…allowed only if it were Punjabi!) that I could get. To be the reason for a hearty laugh (of course, not at my expense!) is the best reward. Keep that smile on; it’s your best complement! 🙏🏻🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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