(The CombatAnt Chronicles)
Prologue: In “A(i)n’t Just a Rant!” you read how CombatAnt fearlessly attacked a sparrow (or rather, its beak) who came pecking at a mound of boiled rice that Team Beta on foraging duty was in the process of raiding. In the ruckus, CombatAnt left the scene of action clinging on to the sparrow’s beak, clearly destined for loftier heights. Though the backup Defence Team of ValiAnt (team leader), BlatAnt, VibrAnt and DefiAnt bravely decided to take upon themselves the arduous task of tracking CombatAnt, it did seem imprudent to put a further 24 valuable legs at risk for the sake of 6.
Serendipitously, and unbeknownst to her on-scene co-workers (co-worker workers actually), just as the sparrow seemed headed for several patters (a unit of long distance in Antese terminology), CombatAnt lost her grip on the smooth beak and her 2.14 mg bulk headed down for a stubby tree. Luckily for her, and unluckily for a spider’s painstaking efforts, as she floated down her left hind leg caught on a strand of a web strung purposefully across the branches for such incidentals. Snipping the silk mercilessly with her formidable mandibles, CombatAnt at last was back on terra firma (or nearly thereabouts). More importantly, in the less than 2 seconds of her flight (fight?) of fancy, she was not many pitters (well… a unit of short distance in Antese terminology) away from the Colony.
The narrative now moves from prose to verse – you see, the upcoming conversation between the ant and the butterfly pupa would require much translation (and result in a loss of subtlety); but poetry being a universal language it should better convey the nuances in spirit. So here goes…
The drizzle did not matter neither the thorns,
had she not just taken the bull by the horns?
Or sparrow by the beak it did not truly matter,
tales of her valour would cause much chatter.
Lengthening strides scurrying down the tree,
right in her path was something so beastly.
Antennae twitching she advanced with care,
the huge hanging fruit was actually good fare.
The ant went on to clamber all over the fruit,
looking to sink her jaws in where it would suit.
And just then the chrysalis let out vibes galore,
halt o ant do hear me before you begin to gore!
The soupy broth once was no longer lies within,
for I am about to emerge breaking out this skin.
Mind you this citrus tree has aphids quite a few,
may I offer you meal of some sticky honeydew?
Forgive me my instincts am not looking for a bite,
not my natural enemy didn’t mean to give a fright.
Despite such kind words you do not look all right,
so to the chrysalis the ant narrated her plight.
Just wait a while as I emerge let my wings dry,
on them you can ride to your home I will fly!
The ant cheered up and rubbed her front legs,
Mind if I carry honeydew for our hatching eggs?
[Featuring: Chrysalis of the Common Mormon butterfly (Papilio polytes) on a lime (citrus) tree]
– Narendra Nayak © 2020