ANT CHANT

Several minutes into my morning walk recently I came upon two single-file rows of ants crossing the sidewalk in opposite directions in perfect precision.  They seemed pretty intent on their mission and impressed me with their discipline.  I carefully stepped over them and continued on my way.

After a while I got to thinking about those little guys and their marching precision.  It struck me as rather sophisticated behavior and put me in mind of military marching drills.  Could it be that the ants of today use a similar method for keeping their ranks in step, a kind of ant colony cadence count to organize their daily work routine?   Maybe they’re repeating the tradition of their ant-cestors (army ants and their “serge-ants,” of course), whose drill might have gone something like this:

 The sergeant barks, “All rise and shine!

Get on your feet and fall in line!”

The bugler sounds an off-key toot;

Antennae up, we bug-salute.

Sound-off; 1 – 2; Sound-off; 3 – 4;

Cadence count; 1 – 2 – 3 – 4; 1 – 2 — 3 – 4.

∼∼∼

The order comes; we move on out

We start to march, all butt-to-snout.

We move along in single-file,

An inch, a foot, a yard, a mile.

Sound-off; 1 – 2; Sound-off; 3 – 4;

Cadence count; 1 – 2 – 3 – 4; 1 – 2 — 3 – 4.

∼∼∼

Chanting cadence lifts our mood

As all day long we scrounge for food.

Don’t care if it’s alive or dead.

We got to keep our families fed.

Sound-off; 1 – 2; Sound-off; 3 – 4;

Cadence count; 1 – 2 – 3 – 4; 1 – 2 — 3 – 4.

∼∼∼

Anything will meet our needs—

Mushroom stalks or centipedes.

No shriveled carcass overlooked;

Sun-dried and crispy—Wow!  Pre-cooked!

Sound-off; 1 – 2; Sound-off; 3 – 4;

Cadence count; 1 – 2 – 3 – 4; 1 – 2 — 3 – 4.

∼∼∼

Picnic grounds are best by far;

They’re nature’s perfect salad bar.

Stale bread crumbs, chicken bones,

Left-over soggy ice cream cones.

Sound-off; 1 – 2; Sound-off; 3 – 4;

Cadence count; 1 – 2 – 3 – 4; 1 – 2 — 3 – 4.

∼∼∼

Road kill, too, if fresh enough

Can make for mighty tasty stuff.

From appetizer to dessert,

Most anything found in the dirt.

Sound-off; 1 – 2; Sound-off; 3 – 4;

Cadence count; 1 – 2 – 3 – 4; 1 – 2 — 3 – 4.

∼∼∼

Dead worms, or leaves, or slimy slugs.

Chiggers, fleas, or other bugs.

Makes no difference, plant or beast—

All make a dandy potluck feast.

Sound-off; 1 – 2; Sound-off; 3 – 4;

Cadence count; 1 – 2 – 3 – 4; 1 – 2 — 3 – 4.

∼∼∼

Sarge yells, “Ten-hut!” Our mission’s done.

“Return to base!  We’re losing sun.”

“Hoo-rah!” we shout;  stamp all our feet.

(Buh-bump.  Buh-bump.  Buh-bump.)

“When we get back we’re gonna eat!”

Sound-off; 1 – 2;  Sound-off; 3 – 4;

Cadence count; 1 – 2 – 3 – 4; 1 – 2 — 3 – 4.

 

*(Clip art courtesy http://www.fg-a.com)

© 2012, The Wit’s End Scribbler

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2 Responses to ANT CHANT

  1. Could you let me known when a News Blaze piece is published? I tried searching their site for new pieces (I read the first with a link from you). Searching took too much time with no success. Thanks, Diane S

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