I wrote this in response to Sue Vincent’s write photo prompt. If you would like to join in the fun, please visit her wonderful blog and have a look around: Sue Vincent
Please suspend your disbelief and picture a convoy of leaf cutter ants crawling across the fourth step from the top, on your right. The ants in this story are all female because worker ants tend to be this gender. The males exist to breed only, surprised? Let’s have a peek into the lives of our six-legged cast, shall we?
“Company halt! Major Amelia, do you have any idea where we are? Why are we crawling into a valley? And a better question is, what are those really tall things sticking up from the ground? They almost reach the sky!”
“Well uh, you see Commander Ava, I, um, was not really, well, you can see, the wind keeps blowing the leaf I’m carrying into my eyes. It’s huge, you know, I am very efficient, as some of us are. The most fungus for the leaf, as they say, or something like that. Hey, you know who might know, because she can’t handle the big stuff? Captain Abigail, of course! Oh, and she’s right here! She’ll know the answer.”
“Very well, Major Amelia, and I’d appreciate a proper antennae salute, or I’ll have you busted down to trash duty? You hear me?”
“Ouch! Yes Commander! Loud and clear. Oh, by the way, did you notice that omeone-say lse-eay idn’t-day altute-say?”
“Enough of that and stop pointing your antennae at the Captain. But yes, you owe me a salute, too, Abigail. And by the way, Major, someone in your position ought to have mastered a simple salute without poking herself in the eye. If your daddy hadn’t taken off after mating with the Queen, I’d swear that he bought your rank for you.”
“But Commander Ava, I don’t even know who my daddy is. None of us do. There’s just too many daddies!”
“Silence! Major Amelia, I’m well aware of how it all works. Now, we have a big problem here and of course, the best way to solve it is first to find out who is to blame.
“Those giants of the Sky Colony that walk up and down these mountains in just eight steps, well, I’ve learned their language. I hear them talk, and that’s what they do.
“We all know that might makes right, and since they are mightier, that means they must be rightier. Isn’t that right?
“No, you imbeciles! What are you, a bunch of dung beetles? Everyone stay in formation! I’m not talking about a direction, just about being right about might. Ah, never mind!
“Captain Abigail, as the lowest rank among the three of us, you are automatically guilty. If you wish to save your precious exoskeleton, you can start by explaining how you created this mess.”
“Me? I mean, Commander Ava, I was third in line, following Major Amelia. I’ve walked in lockstep the entire trip.”
“Hope you like the smell of garbage, because you’ll never forage again.”
“I will take it from here, thank you, Major.”
“Oh, sorry, Commander. But can I just say one thing?”
“Sure, but that’s it.”
“Captain Abigail is lazy. She only carries forty-nine times her bodyweight. She spends most of her time gawking around and smelling the pharaoh moans.”
“And you’re so dumb you can’t even pronounce pheromones.”
“Don’t clack your mandibles at me, Captain. I outrank you, remember?”
“Girls! Can we have order here, please! Now Captain, you’re still guilty and will be punished, but when you mentioned that phero-thingy, I came up with a brilliant idea, yet again. You see, the Captain has allowed our route to be sabotaged by the drones of the Sky Colony.”
“No disrespect, Commander, but what are you talking about?”
“Oh, sweet Captain, you have much to learn . . . explains your lowly rank, I suppose. I have personally seen one myself. It was days ago, and it flew over me, on its way up these very mountains. It had black and yellow stripes and made a horrendous buzzing sound.”
“Do not interrupt me, Captain! Now, as I was saying, the beast flew up these mountains towards that big blue, Sky Portal that the Sky Colony comes from.”
“Um, again, no disrespect, but I don’t think that’s the sky. You see, it’s vertical and the actual sky is— ouch!”
“If the Commander says that it’s the sky, that’s what it is. Now stop rubbing your eye and do not speak until you’re told to.”
“Thank you, Major. I’m ordering everyone to do a smell check. That way we can be sure that no enemy is among us. Look for yellow and black stripes, as well as anyone who buzzes like the gossip mill back at the Hill.
“That’s right! Get those antennae working. Major, get away from me! Ouch! You bit me! That’s it, Captain Abigail is now on permanent trash duty!”
“Me? But that was the Major’s fault.”
“You see me not listening? Yes, that’s what it’s like, but no one cares what you have to say. Alright, halt! It is clear that we have no enemies among us. Now we can resume the blame game. Captain, turn in your badge.”
“But we don’t have badges.”
“That’s it! You’re, hey, what just hit me?”
“Commander! It’s starting to rain! We need to seek shelter before we’re washed down these mountains!”
“Don’t tell me when it is raining, Captain. I’ll tell you, that’s how it works!”
“Um right . . . everyone, we need to get out of here! Move, now!”
“They won’t unless I command it. I say it might be rain, but if it is, then it is only a light rain. It will pass and we shall proceed in determining a new punishment for your insubordination.”
“Everyone, this is your captain speaking! Follow the chain of command but start with me. We’ll pretend the upper ranks do not exist. The rain is getting worse and we’ve no time to reach shelter, get to the base of this mountain and use your leaves to shield yourselves! Yes, that’s it, now hold on. Here comes the downpour!”
“Hey, Not-Captain-Abigail! You are way out of line . . . Major, take that leaf off your head and stand beside me at the edge of this cliff.”
“That’s a good girl, now listen to meee….!”
“They’re gone! I’m glad we listened to you, Captain.”
“All in the chain of command, Sergeant. Now hold steady!”
So, last night I spotted a leprechaun running towards the end of this rainbow! I must emphasize, meeting a leprechaun had been my life’s dream! I’d kept every depiction of these creatures that I’d come across.
Engaged in physical yard work, I’d decided to leave my glasses indoors for safe keeping. Naturally, I gave chase.
As I sit here, in my tomato juice bath, praying this laptop remains on the edge of the tub, I would like to alert the local school, newspaper, and television station to the fact that I’m about to sue for spreading false and injurious information. I’m tearing down every crayon drawing of a leprechaun published by this “rag of lies,” that has been taped to my fridge since Saint Paddy’s Day.
Unfortunately, someone told me that including the entire kindergarten through grade three classes, in my suit was not feasible, so I urge all parents to educate your young about the truths of these vile creatures.
* They are not friendly!
* If they TURN their backs towards you and STAMP their feet, RUN! What you get next is NOT gold, NOR does it taste like Skittles!
NO Tommy! This is just plain wrong!
When a hippo hollers, does anyone listen? I mean really pay attention to what it’s saying. All we hear is, “Rrrrrr! Rrrrr!” like a faulty chainsaw trying to start. Which, with our negative perspective, we immediately assume translates to, “Kill! Kill!”
But what if this massive barge of flesh is actually saying, “Hey friend, I have this here piece of canoe stuck in my gums, can you help a fellow mammal out?”
Happy Saturday, everyone! I live in a pretty rural area, with plenty of wildlife (hippos don’t like snow, so I’m marked ‘safe’ from them). I do, however, enjoy the company of many fur-bearing friends, so I’ve posted a few photos with some captions of what they most certainly are thinking. Enjoy!
“Frank! It’s the paparazzi again! I TOLD you to find a different lawn!”
“Everyone, freeze! Pray it doesn’t think we’re made of chocolate!”
“MOM! Come here QUICK! It’s a two legged walking stick! Ewwww! Bring a leaf and squish it pleeeaaasssee!”
“You smell like ketchup, mustard, onions, lettuce, tomato, kaiser bun, and . . . oh my gosh!”
“No dummy, we DO NOT eat noodles or know kung-fu!”
A final encore . . .
“We’re LOST AGAIN, aren’t we Tom? How many times do I have to tell you to ask for directions!”
Okay, so let’s find a large cardboard box to climb into and imagine it’s the DeLorean from Back To The Future. Those of you with artistic tendencies may opt for detailing the exterior to mimic the real thing. That’s fine with me.
Now, we’ll set the dial for the not-so-distant date of yesterday! Twenty-four hours ago, my COVID19 hairstyle resembled a shave brush. Yes, it grows straight up and out.
Enough was enough and on a recent trip to town, I had Tanya pick up hair clippers.
About an hour later, seated on a lawn chair on the back deck, with pedestal mirror in hand, I commenced my first-ever self-propelled haircut. Now, this skull rug is no stranger to the clippers, but they’re usually handled by a professional.
I shrugged off the clipper guides and went bare blade. Who cares in this new reality? It could be two moons before my next shearing.
I dug in deep and soon clumps of hair, with far too much gray, tumble weeded across the deck, entangling any unfortunate insect that crossed its path.
Our youngest daughter came out to observe and uttered the words every father “wants” to hear. “Dad, you look creepy!”
A courageous youngster, she pushed her disgust aside and offered to help, which I took gratefully. She worked the back, but eventually proclaimed it hopeless and suggested Tanya finish the job.
I must say the pruning was most liberating! I swear I’ve developed a sixth sense; I mean, I can feel everything! The last time I was this bald, my behind was wrapped in diapers.
My head is now an organic weather satellite, at one with the jet streams. I’m certain that no butterfly can pass above without my detection.
Proud of the newly acquired ability, I went to peacock my new look to our oldest. If I’d entered her room with my nose cut off, her face would have betrayed less horror.
Humbled, I exited quickly, but not before I heard her whisper these words to her classmates on Zoom. “My Dad just cut his hair and it’s frightening!”
Oh well, hair grows back and I’m saving on shampoo.
In the meantime, I’m grateful to the professional folks at North Shore Construction for gifting me with the perfect shame saver.