Considering the Ants by Thomas O’Connell

Go to the ant, thou sluggard. Consider her ways, and be wise
-Proverbs 6:6

If every unbaptized baby becomes an ant, why are there so many ants? Could so many babies be lost? The hospital intensive care units are always full, keeping them wired to monitors lest they start growing antenna and their little bodies start to section away.

Ants roam the cracked asphalt of our driveway, searching for food to bring home to their associates working so diligently below. We try to trick them on a lazy Sunday afternoon. After skimming through the newspaper, my daughter and I lie on our stomachs by low edged cups of sugar, salt, and honey. We observe the ants, waiting for them to discover the substances, speculating as to which they will choose. My daughter marks each ant’s preference on a sheet of loose-leaf paper, each hash mark building statistics that will be included on a science fair tri-board. The ants do not know they are part of our experiment, poor babies being tricked again.


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Filed under Thomas O'Connell

4 responses to “Considering the Ants by Thomas O’Connell

  1. I really enjoyed this. It made me empathize with the ants. :)

  2. Interesting how the piece opens with a proverb, then the questions, and then we scale further back to see the ants from the human POV. I find this one really different, intriguing somehow. Ants like (simile) humans? Ants= humans? Hmm…ponder on…

  3. Provocative stuff. You’ve made me think about ants in an entirely new way. Peace…

  4. Pingback: Week #26 – Animal behavior | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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