Insects More Important to You

Ant on Rotting Pear

When I was younger my grandfather told me a story. We were sitting in the grass, which I remember vividly because such a casual position was unusual for the man. He told me a story as ants crawled over the lines and grooves of his thick, wrinkled fingers. The ants appeared oblivious to their living platform, and for his part, my grandfather reciprocated: his chunky, creased digits stayed poised, bent, nails through the green blades and digging into the black moist earth. The ants commuted over their haphazard tracks, stopping abruptly to check signals against receptors no doubt. Occasionally they tussled with one another (or two or three another). They were short, manic conflicts that became harder to follow as my grandfather repositioned his arms and hands out of discomfort, unrelated to insects, but because of ache and lack of circulation. When his fingers settled back to earth, the ants who were much fewer now moved frantically about, some into the green phalanx, others up his arms; some still yet in smaller or larger, more or less malformed circles. The ants dispersed enough that I noticed ones that were not moving, crushed bugs, pinched creatures, dead matter. I understood a painful truth and without thinking I put my hand on my grandfather’s. Without looking at me, my grandfather told me a story. When he finished he rose up, a giant above me, a giant again in the fullest of his stature. He mussed my hair; he said, “I love you.” He left me sitting in the grass looking at ants, looking for strength. But I still wondered if they were in my hair; I still wondered who among them would live.

Ant on Rotting Pear

Ants on Rotting Pear

Ants on Rotting Pear

Two Ants Attacking Another Ant

Ants Fighting on a Rotting Pear

Ants Fighting, One Abdomen Poised As If To Sting, on Rotting Pear

Ants in Shadow of and on a Rotting Pear

Numerous Ants on a Rotting Pear

Ant on a Rotting Pear

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