Sunday, 9 August 2009

Happy Flant Day

Scene: the ants' nest. About 2.30pm. There is a general hubbub.

Ant 1: What's going on? What's with all the panic?
Ant 2: It's Flant Day?
Ant 1: Flant Day? What's that?
Ant 2: Flant Day!
Ant 1: Look, Geraldine, simply repeating it isn't going to aid my comprehension. What's Flant Day?
Ant 2: Flying Ant Day! It's the day when us virgin queens take flight. We all do it. All of the flying ants do it on the same day.
Ant 1: First I've heard of it.
Ant 2: Didn't you get the memo from Nest Central?
Ant 1: Oh, I never pay that lot any attention. Their memos seem to be for the drones, anyway. They're so boring. It's always "Leaf mould production is up 10% this week". Means nothing to me.
Ant 2: Well, if you'd read the latest one from them, you'd understand that today is when we virgin queens get to fly. We'll finally be able to make use of our wings.
Ant 1: Oh, you mean these things here! (Flaps vigorously). I did wonder what they were for. Quite frankly, they're a bit of a pain here in the nest. The workers seem to do well enough without them.
Ant 2: It's a great honour to be a virgin queen. We get to leave the nest and....
Ant 1: Whoa. Hold on one second. Leave the nest? No-one told me about that. I never signed up for leaving the nest.
Ant 2: You need to leave the nest so you can found a new one. That's how it works. We leave the nest, mate with a male, then start a whole new nest. That's how our Queen got started.
Ant 1: There is so much that's wrong with that statement I don't know where to begin.
Ant 2: Did you never pay attention in virgin queen class?
Ant 1: I skipped that day.
Ant 2: Typical. Anyway. We all leave the nest on our nuptial flight. Those of us lucky enough get to mate with a male, then we go and form a nest.
Ant 1: "Mate with a male?" What does "mate" mean? For that matter, what about "male"?
Ant 2: I really don't have the time to explain. You're going to have to let instinct guide you. All you need to know is that if you're lucky, you get to be a Queen of your own nest.
Ant 1: And this male you speak of? Does this male stay and help out?
Ant 2: Oh no, he dies off pretty shortly afterwards. Once you've had his, erm, contribution you're on your own. You simply become an egg-laying machine.
Ant 1: Riiiight.
Ant 2: It's an honour, isn't it?
Ant 1: Quite frankly this isn't what I expected.
Ant 2: You don't get to choose, Kimberley. And in any case, you might not get to meet a male.
Ant 1: No?
Ant 2: Goodness me no. Apparently less than one in ten thousand of us gets lucky. The rest of us will either get eaten by predators, or simply die alone and exhausted.
Ant 1: Bugger this for a game of soldier ants.


David Edgar said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Genius.

City Girl said...

LOL. Excellent.

http://www, said...

Will have to consult the "Alfie" committee on this matter...
Very cute FBF!


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