21 June 2009

Fallen Hero

Piggy’s head snaps back,
his ears sit high on his head,
and his eyes are glued
to the ant inching toward him.

When it reaches his paw, the ant crawls up.

Rapid-fire, Piggy opens and closes his mouth
up and down his furry foreleg,
frantic to get the little bugger.

And then,
Piggy’s head snaps up.
Furiously, he swings his snout
from side to side,
his fat wet tongue flails between his teeth
until the ant flies out.

The whole time this is happening,
Hopper has his eye on the scene.
He quickly rushes over,
ears forward on his head,
his “I’m so happy something’s happening” smile
exposes sharp white teeth against wet pink gums.

Never missing a beat, Hopper’s paw
slams down on the ant,
lifts up,
slams down again,
lifts up,
then with one fatal slam, he nails the ant,
who had only wanted to cross
the long beige expanse of carpet
to get to the kitchen
and find a scrap to carry back to wherever it is
that the rest of his kind dwell
in this red brick house,

carrying on a legacy of urban ants
that began when people were
audacious enough to multiply
and build houses
where the ants once reigned supreme.

Dog toys, indeed!

Does the ant colony miss their fallen comrade?
Or do they carry on with no recognition
of the ultimate sacrifice made by one of their own
in a treacherous quest for food?

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