Something I wrote 10 years ago
“Are you ready soldiers, then after me. I want organised lines and no side tracking. Did you hear No. 200? The last time we had to send out a search party and this time we have a definite target before our eyes and noses.”
“Sorry No. 1, but I did get a bit carried away last time.”
“Getting carried away is no excuse No. 200. You are in charge of a whole regiment and if you get carried away, there is no way of knowing what would happen to the rest of your regiment. Just to clarify things, this is a very important job we are on. I am not No. 1 for any reason and our leader has appointed me to carry the responsibility of the survival of our people. We have babies to be fed and we will ensure that their needs will be met, so this way men.”
No. 1 walked carefully but determined, followed by his troop of brave followers. There were many obstacles to be conquered, the first being a high rise in the ground, but regardless of the rough road, he and his men carried on regardless.
“If we march on in this way, there should be no problem. We are now inside the victim’s dwellings where the food supplies are. I can smell our target already.”
“Yes No. 200.”
“I can smell many targets. Behind this door there is a mixture of smells to satisfy our people. Shall I take my troop in that direction whilst you head for the main attraction.”
“No. 200 are you having hearing problems. What did I say?”
“That we should follow your troop.?”
“Yes, No. 200. Although we are many, it would be of no advantage to attack on many fronts. Now follow me, we have a lot of climbing to do.”
As No. 1 said, there was a very steep slope ahead, at least ninety degrees measured from the base level. Luckily our brave soldiers had each four legs and no climbing problems. Vertigo was an illness not known to this species.
“No. 200 come here please.”
There was no answer.
“No. 200, where you. I cannot pick up your signals.”
“Permission to speak sir”
“Who are you?”
“No. 525 sir. No. 200 was in front with his company and he suddenly disappeared in a slit in the wall. His company followed him.”
“Of course his company followed, they know nothing else except to follow their leader, but I am disappointed. I was counting on No. 200 and his faithful workers, and now they have disappeared. No. 525 is your troop present?”
“Yes sir, being lead by No. 500. Regiments 600, 700 and 800 are also ready for attack.”
“Good, at least there are a few hundred others I can rely on. Ok men our end station is now in view, I can already smell the rewards of our looting expedition. Think of our babies and the future of our tribe. I cannot wait to reap the benefits. Here we are men. Just look at it, it resembles a sea of gold, glistening and shining on its glossy surface. So to the attack.”
And our brave soldiers climbed onto the target of their attack, combining their collective thoughts and actions to ensure a victory. In the meanwhile, No. 200 and his troop had discovered an alternative source of food; also very appealing to their taste buds. No. 200 was sure that No. 1 would promote him when they returned to their nest.
Suddenly there was a high pitched scream and there were floodlights switched on engulfing the kitchen in light.
“What’s the matter Gertrud, what are you screaming for?” asked Gertrud’s husband, Frank.
“Come and look in the kitchen. We have been invaded.” And Gertrud was still speaking in a rather loud excited voice.
Frank ran to the kitchen as fast as his legs would carry him expecting to find Gertrud confronted perhaps by a field mouse. He knew her reaction with mice. However, there were no mice to be seen.
“Look Frank, just look”
and Frank looked and what did he see. Well there was the lemon tart that Gertrud had made that afternoon, ready for a nice sweet dessert the next day. Unfortunately the tart was not so lemonly yellow as it was quite well covered by an army of ants.
The reactions of Gertrud and Frank were quick. The tart was laying on a surface near to the sink and the water supply was turned on washing half of the army away, including our brave leader No. 1. The remaining ants scuttled in various directions seeking protection from every nook and cranny they could find. In the meanwhile No. 200 was watching from the crack in the door of the food cupboard, glad that he had not followed No. 1. However, he was feeling a bit nervous as Frank and Gertrud had decided to make a thorough job of it and they were now approaching the food cupboard. Unfortunately some members of No. 200’s troop had begun to leave the cupboard though the cracks in the door and this made Frank and Gertrud suspicious. The door was opened and with a damp cloth Gertrud wiped away every moving ant she could see in the cupboard. Those that could, rescued their selves on ground level in the hairline fissures of the entrance to the insides of the washing up machine and other cupboards. Here they were also not safe.
“Men, follow me, we must go” shouted No. 200, although the humans luckily did not hear.
“There is no hope for us” answered No. 220, we are doomed, the humans are on our trail and at this moment Frank removed the covering to the machine and the ants were sucked out with the vacuum cleaner.
Those ants that survived and were not too far away from the entrance managed to return to the nest bringing the bad news that No. 1 and his company, as well as many other regiments, had been completely destroyed. Their queen was not very pleased, but those ants that returned managed to bring some morsels of food to ensure the survival of the babies in the nest.
The ants abandoned by the main troop were still fighting bravely in Gertrud and Frank’s kitchen, but they had little chance of survival. The humans were not so sure that all had been destroyed and made an inspection tour of the kitchen now and again. Eventually it was midnight, and not having seen a living ant for the past thirty minutes Gertrud and Frank went to bed assured that all was well in the kitchen, but not without putting the lemon tart in the fridge first of all.
The next morning Gertrud went immediately to the kitchen when she was awake, followed by Frank. Completely ant free they were not, but the five or ten survivors did not bother them so much. They made a shopping list that morning and on the top of it were ant tins. They found this was the best solution. The ants entered the tins, were afterwards covered with the poisonous substance and brought it back to the nest. So all was well that ends well. At least for the humans, but No. 1 – 800 ants were not so happy.
The day passsed peacefully and there were really no more ants to be seen. During the afternoon there was a knock on the door and when Gertrud opened it she found her next door neighbour standing there looking quite distressed.
“Hello Gertrud, we have a problem, perhaps you could help?”
“Of course” answered Gertud “you look quite worried”.
“Oh, we are, we have an ant invasion. They are everywhere in the kitchen, probably came in from the garden. Do you have perhaps any ant tins?