One Tiny Leaf

Short stories and poems

** This is inspired by my summer-long battle with ants in my kitchen. It is meant to be a play-like conversation. Enjoy!**

Genocide in The Kitchen
A parley between an Ant and Me

Ant: Oh my God! Water! It’s all around me. How can I get out of here…there’s no way out of here! Ach! (cough, cough)

Me: “Caught you! Don’t even try to leave! You’ll drown.”

Ant: Oh no! It’s her! The Woman! I’ve got to run away. Oh, no. No, no. This isn’t happening. I can see the others across the Sink, the rest of my troop. She drowned them! Some of their legs are still moving. I am going to die.

Me: “How did you get in here? I thought I sealed all the entrances. Yet here you are! At least 100 of you. Where did you come in?”

Ant: Don’t say anything. She’ll kill you no matter what. No, maybe not. Maybe she’ll leave me alone if I reason with her. Ok. Here goes. “Please don’t hurt me, Woman! I know you have killed thousands of my friends and family members, but please take mercy on me. I am defenseless before you, and you are so powerful and strong. Please just let me go home.”

Me: “No! You invaded my home with your friends! You were trying to steal from me!”

Ant: “Invade? Steal? I do not know these words? What are you talking about? What is ‘steal’?”

Me: “You took what is mine from me, and you entered my home without permission to do so. For this my punishment is death, by drowning, paper towel, or vacuum.”

Ant: “Death? For this? I don’t understand. We didn’t know we needed permission. The Queen, she sent us—”

Me: “The only queen in this house is me!”

Ant: “But MY Queen sent us to you for food. Just the crumbs, you see—the things too small for you. They feed our whole village. Surely you would not begrudge something so small to you that to us is so much! Perhaps we have offended you. Were YOU planning to eat the sink crumbs? This is where you store food for your own family?”

Me: “No. You know very well that my storage areas are the Fridge and Pantry.”

Ant: “Did we ‘invade’ those?”

Me: “Well, no.”

Ant: “So if YOU weren’t going to eat it, and you weren’t storing it for your family, why shouldn’t I take it to mine?”

Me: “Because it’s mine! You had no permission and you had no right to presume it was yours for the taking! You can’t just take for free what others have worked hard to earn.”

Ant: “You have no idea how hard we worked to get here, especially after you sealed our main entrance. It took our scouts days to find another way in. Is that not earning it? Our builders work day and night, as do our scouts and retrievers. Don’t they deserve food?”

Me: “Yes, but not mine!”

Ant: “Why not? You were going to discard it anyways. If you could fit in my house, I am sure my Queen would feed you because she is kind to everyone, especially a neighbor. So we come to your house as neighbors, and you must slaughter us by the hundreds? Because we desire your leftovers? Where is the logic in that, your majesty?”

Me: “Point taken. But I still do not like you to be in my house. I am not so hospitable as your queen. In my eyes, your very presence is an act of war.”

Ant: “Then can we not have some kind of treaty between us? We are a peaceful tribe, and we certainly do not want war with our neighbors, certainly not ones as formidable as you.”

Me: “Very well. Here is our agreement then: You may take my food, but only from the trash bins outside--”

Ant: “But you put those in tied bags! It is much more difficult to retrieve the food!”

Me: “I’m sure you’ll find a way. Anyways, you may take that, but if you or your friends ever enter my house again—even for food—you’ll return home with poison that will kill all of your tribe including your precious Queen. If you respect my boundaries, like the good neighbor you claim to be, you may take what you wish, and in return, I will not destroy your home.” Take this message to your Queen.”

Ant: “Woman, I will take the message, but I cannot guarantee the result. After all, the genocide of my tribe is on your hands when we never meant anything but good for you. Yes, I will tell her of your malicious treaty and of your cruel slaughter today. But I hope your conscience makes you feel our hunger and fear.”

The Ant leaves. And moments later: Ding Dong! Ding Dong!

Me: “Ah! The Orkin Man!”

About One Tiny Leaf

I see my writing as one tiny leaf on a great big tree of budding authors. While I hope to one day publish professionally and find a community of writers and readers, for the present this blog allows me the space to put my work to the test. I welcome any constructive comments and feedback.