Scouting Party

“Look Ponera, this is crazy. Am I the only that sees that? What do we hope to accomplish here?”

“We are scouting for Messor. Our missing scout..”

"And you don't think that's odd? Even when you say it like that?"


“But we are the forth expedition to go looking for him. Doesn't that seem...well, silly?”

“We don’t leave our scouts behind Atta.”

“Well, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I’m very patriotic, and I know my duty. You know, all for queen and country, so don't take this wrong. It’s just that it seems a little strange to me to send out four expeditions for one lost scout.”

“We also need to find food.”

“I know, but when do we decide that this isn’t the best place to find it. You know we could go another way.”

“We follow the same path as the other scouts. It’s the way it works Atta! We’ve always done it like this and I see no reason why we should change it now. I want to hear no more about the subject! Lets review the ground we’ve covered.”

“Fine. We came through the same tunnel that we know Messor, and the other scouting parties started through. From there we circled the the lake where we discovered why scouting party number one never come back... ”

“Daceton deserved better.”

“...then we continued on the path, climbing the white cliff face and discovered the resting place of scouting party number three. On the precipice, near the crystal formation.”

“Yes, that was unfortunate."


"Both Lasius and Ection did their duty. Just like we should. I don’t have to remind you that if a scouting party doesn’t find food soon we’re going to be in trouble. I mean we only have provisions for another week or so. Continue.”

"Okay. Then the path lead us to scouting party number two. They were both dead on that expansive tundra.”

“Right. Which means all other parties are accounted for. All except Messor that is. Which means he must still be ahead. ”

“Is that all you have to say Ponera! Don't you get that need to do something!"

"We are doing something. We're following the path."

"I mean something else! We can't just follow in the other scouts foot prints anymore. Don't you see where that sort of thinking is going to lead to?"

"It will lead to Messor. Is that what you mean?"

"No Ponera, that's not what I mean! I mean If we keep sending out scouting parties, following in the footsteps of the other scouting parties it won’t matter when we run out of food! We’ll all be lost long before we starve to death!”

“What do you want to do? Go back empty handed? I can tell you right now, we will not get a warm welcome! Let's just keep moving. We’ve made it further than most of the other expeditions. Maybe our luck will hold. You don’t always have to presume the worst you know. We are two very capable-”

“-I'm just saying we need to try another way! Why is that so hard to understand? Wait...isn’t that Messor over there!"


"Look! Over there by the edge of that desert...”

“See! I told you. We stick to the path from previous scouts and everything will work out.”

“No Ponera, He looks like he’s in bad shape...”



“Gottcha! Two more Linda! I got two more!”

“Whoopie, I’m thrilled. Honestly. Can you please clean them up now?”

“No. I’m leaving their carcasses scattered all around the room to demoralize them. Let’s see... one in the dogs water bowl, two on the window sill, two on the tile entryway and now three near the cat’s litter box. I’m telling you they’re going to give up soon. Today was a huge moral defeat for them.”

“Charlie they’re not going to give up! You act like they can think and reason! Please can we just seal up the crack in the door, or call an exterminator?”

“No Linda, I’m telling you, I’m going to beat these ants!”


Jason said...

Adventures in Antsylvania

Pure geniusness

kludge said...

I like that title. Thanks.

It always feels strange when ants come in small groups. I'm not sure what they hope to accomplish...

Roberta said...

I never see ants in small groups in my house. They have three major freeways that run through my kitchen. There's a cloverleaf interchange just above the wastebasket in the cupboard under the sink. We've decided that when the billboards and diners start poping up, we'd better do something.

kludge said...


That's great! They seem pretty well organized! You might want to make plans... won't want to uproot them after they start considering it 'home'.

Ando said...

I wonder if this is the same regiment of ants I've battling at my work desk all week.

Ando said...

I've often imagined that ants have nightly new reports and that they must be terribly depressing.

"In other news, another 872 ants were killed today when the new food supply was found to be laced with deadly toxins. After yesterdays loss of 943 from the poison gas cloud, and the 53 scouts that didn't return from the surface world, presumed squashed, this weeks total of lost ant lives has reached a staggering 1,868."

kludge said...

Ando -

Might be...we're close enough!

One little monster crawled over my hand while I was typing up the poem this morning. I cursed him, then praise him.

kludge said...


Ant news DOES sound depressing!

To counteract it, I bet ant communities have to resort to a level of media socialism. Filling their little ant heads with lies and pro-ant propaganda.

"Humans in retreat. Leaving picnics in drones..."

jenylu said...


kludge said...

jenylu -

I think that sums it up exactly!