They Just Know

Scarfa told Barkela to stop being such a fusspot killjoy and keep moving.

There are like a million of us in that place, she said. Has anybody ever checked up on you? Even once?

No, said Barkela, looking back in the direction of the anthill again. They don't have to. They just know.

That's what they tell you to keep you in line, Scarfa said as she started up a drainpipe on the north side of Wrigley Field, headed for the left field bleachers. Come on, the game's already started!

Barkela reminded Scarfa, again, that there were a lot of leftover crumbs from the weekend. Not to mention the leaky hummingbird feeder on Seminary Avenue.

Oh yeah? Scarfa snapped. Well, may I remind you that we are both in our last phase? This is as good as it gets, B. We are sterile female workers and what do we do all day? We forage for scraps and haul it back to feed the queen and her next batch of larvae. And when we're not hauling food, we're out with the rest of the old biddies defending the precious hill.

I know, said Barkela, her antennae drooping as she moved toward the drainpipe. Scarfa was already 20 antlengths up and still talking.

And when we die, we'll get hauled back for food. But the queen lives for, what, 30 years. She gets everything handed to her, gets to mate with drones in mid-air. And if it turns we have too many queens, do we get to eat one? Oh, no. Her majesty gets carried off to start a new colony!

Barkela started to raise an objection about this being the order of things, but Scarfa kept on with her rant.

Meanwhile, the Cubs are having the best season they've had in a hundred years. Think about that! Our ancestors have endured one miserable season after another. But we could witness something that ants will talk about for generations!

The game was rained out after five innings and in the process the scent trails back to Scarfa and Barkela's nest were washed way. Passing through a yard off Kenmore they encountered aggressive carpenter ants swarming an ash tree stump. The larger ants quickly tore Scarfa and Barkela into several pieces, which they then carried to their queen, a sulky and jaded fan of the San Diego Padres.

Image Wrigley Field - Waveland Avenue Exterior by talented flickr user wallyg, used under a Creative Commons by-non.


Doc said...

Cubby fans have always been insane.

Lee said...

It's the 100 years of loser-tude. Imagine how crazy Royals fans will be by 2085.