Hey! My name is Sean and I am an ant.
Not Just an ordinary ant though- a bull ant. I live in the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia, somewhat near Australia. But just like every being in this enormous world, we are very protective about our family. My colony is fairly small and we have been living in our nest for a two years!
Yes. I know for humans that hardly makes a difference, making a house for them takes more than two years, but for an ant who has a lifespan of eight to ten weeks? Two years is a big deal!
My species, we generally stay away from human and their huge , tall shelters. They in fact, can’t seem to keep away from our territories which belong to the wild. Every animal has it’s territory, but humans? They think that every place is a place for them to settle down , just like the house that had been newly made in the middle of the island , located a few yards from or nest.
A week ago, the other worker ants and me were doing our regular collection of gum, honeydew and seeds for the winters. I saw this huge animal with four horribly round wheels pull up in front of the house , I stopped as my companions behind bumped into me and screamed-
“Hey! You’re stopping the line! Move over!”
“But guys, what is that?”
I saw weird flesh-lings come out of the animal. They oddly stood on two feet and wore weird things on their body. They had the skin same as the colour of the sandy beaches and carried some sort of liquid in small containers. I was astonished. Excited! I had heard of humans , but never actually seen one. They resembled monkeys, but they looked like they knew what they were doing.
“Are those humans?” I regret saying that because it created a huge panic. All the workers scattered here and there , all of them screaming “WARN THE SOLDIERS!” All the workers started rushing into the nest as the soldier ants who were twice our size armed the mouth of the nest ordering in complete monotone, “Someone inform the Queen and everyone gather in the common area!”
I entered the large hall, which was a lot bigger than the other slots in the complex tunnel system. Everyone stood there in the state of morbidity and confusion, not to mention utter shock! The Queen entered, her name? Clarissa. Her slick and shiny grey wings aligned perfectly to her long , thin body. Her curves were almost perfect , her colour was sort of different, it was a little brown and her jaw, sharp and strong. Yeah! I sort of liked her, but then every ant in the nest liked her.
She said, confidently without even a sign of haste or fear, “The house has stood here and now it has it’s human inhabitants. The humans will make it a point to eradicate us , if we do not exercise restraint, we will not be able to protect our ancestral home and serving this nest is our first priority!”
We were very clear about the orders, but today.. While everyone was working , we heard a loud call of the soldier ants! All of us looked up, the nest was in danger. I hurried to the nest to see a fairly tiny human was squashing some of the worker ants near the tunnel. I was horror struck, I could see my family member die due to petty amusement of a human. The human , noticed the ant hill and started pouring sand into it. Soldier ants charged out as the hill was being filled with sand, 2 years of extensive tunnel systems going to dust . Though we were told to have restraint, the soldier ants made way to onto her body, the tiny sensations of ants climbing on her skin , made her try and kick them off only to get three deadly bites from them. Our venom was poisonous enough to kill our prey and anyone allergic to it. The girl gave out a fatal scream as she ran into her home, throwing the soldier ants off.
This was a problem, we know that humans eradicate anything that try and protect their environment. They will surely make use of the fact that we are smaller than them and that there are so many humans, dominating every living thing on earth. In no time, we heard the talk of the birds , they said that “pest control” had entered our small island, to kill us in the place that was naturally ours.
Five men came in front of our already damaged nest with huge red cylinders and long pipes, they wore a hard rubber cloth, I had seen them before. They swiftly came up to the nest and kicked it to the ground, making some of us get buried to death. As they saw some of us coming out of the main hole , they sprayed the gas till our breathing systems were corrupted by it, I saw some my friends and family stagger to death , while some after death also were ripped apart by the monsters.
Some ants noticed that the Clarissa wasn’t in safety yet. Our loyalty to our queen was beyond doubt the most powerful thing we felt. Some worker ants including me , rushed down to the remaining levels, quickly making way through the sand.. The tunnels were somewhat intact but crumbling as they created intentional vibrations for it to collapse and fall. I saw here, she was stuck in the few chunks of wet sand, I went to her and identified myself but the touch of our antennas. As the others pushed the chucks down , three of us pulled her out. We rushed to the faint light , trying to run from the poison. The soldiers gave the signal and the queen flew to safety.
Yes, we died because we tried to protect ourselves, but that’s what humans do.. They destroy. They burn things that come in their way to the ground. This is one day in my life, when I lost my home, thousands of my own I loved. I’ve seen them die in vain, but we can’t complain, because we are small. But this happens to millions of us throughout out the planet every single day so this one incident is close to insignificant.
Cover Picture by- Self