“An Opus for Ants” by Ron Koppelberger


"Turn away... Turn away!" the commander said to the soldier.

The soldier ant said, "But I have this burden to deliver to the queens guard, a burden of nourishment and blood for the secret birth of our children and the nest." The commander waved his antenna and spun in circles around the soldier and his burden.

"Danger lays in wait by the rivers edge, for the enemy has the deluge and the destruction of our construct!" the soldier ignored the commander and moved on to the place where his burden would be multiplied by the limits of a possible berth. When the soldier ant had found his cache of bidden sustenance he paused and rested for the return home; in a seconds breath the shadow of the enemy approaching filled the sky and the vision of the ants fear. The shadow passed and the ant counted himself lucky in fate.

Later he returned to the nest only to find it awash in an ocean of water and drown comrades. What of the queen he thought. Realizing he was alone his hunger overcame him and he ate the burden intended for the guard and the queen.

"Confessions of mystery, a war fought at odds with the impossible," he spoke, "but at least I have a belly full of food and my back to build a road unto the next horizon."