Yes I have ants on my mind at the moment. And no, of course I don’t have real ants inside my head! I have been thinking about ants a lot though, and further thinking about writing a picture book about the ants I’ve been thinking about.
These antsy thoughts were prompted by all of the ants that go past me when I’m outside sitting on the sofa we have on the back veranda. If I look down on the veranda, there are lots of ants, going to the left and the right, with some heading off in other random directions. Most of them seem to be going either toward or away from wherever their home is, which I think is to the left of me, away from the backyard, further away, but still on our property.
I see ants carrying dead things, and these are always heading to the lift, so I assume they’re taking food back to their home. I don’t really know a lot about how ants live, whether it’s mainly one gender who do the work, or if they all do. I think I’ll have to look further into this, I could get ideas for the picture book. If I’m writing for children, I want to get the facts correct, that’s important.
The ants I’m watching are mid-sized ants, not the little ones, and certainly not inch ants. These ants could bite, if I got in their way, I guess, but they’re not troublesome to us in any way. I suspect we’re more troublesome to them. Sometimes I see ants trying to pick up one of their comrades who’s been trodden on by people or dogs. I feel sorry for those poor dead ants, but I can only try to not tread on them, no guarantees I won’t do it, and I can’t prevent others here from doing it, the dogs and my husband wouldn’t care …
I have this idea of being a secular Buddhist, and while there is much I don’t know about Buddhism, I think not killing other creatures is a relevant concept. I don’t like killing things anyway, and I try not to, if I’m paying proper attention. I don’t massively swerve around things on the road when I’m driving at high speed though, killing myself wouldn’t be a good thing to do … and I have this silly fear that if I drove over a brown snake on purpose, trying to kill it, it could somehow get inside the car with me, and bite me …
Anyway, these ants … I need to write some more pages, at the moment I have potentially 18 pages done, if the set up of the book is to have one line to a two page spread. I need more than that. And I need something whizz bang clever/funny/amazing to wrap the whole book up. I don’t have any ideas on that part yet. I think I’ll get the research done first, so I don’t waste my time, when actually knowing more could actually hand me the perfect ending … Sitting and watching ants is fine, but understanding more on what they’re doing would be better.
I’ve written a little bit about ants, poetry, one of the poems in my poetry collection about creatures in my life has a funny poem, where an ant provides the punch line. This is the poem, I think I may read this one at a funny poetry event I’m attending Thursday night.
A lesson learnt
The little boy pulls down his pants
with no regard for decency
or any good reason, I can see;
he aims a stream at toiling ants.
Panic disrupts the ordered dance
and causes much unbridled glee
at such confusion caused by pee.
But one small ant sees a chance,
it latches on to one small toe.
Giggles then rise high to screams.
Boy shakes his foot to make it go,
ending all his urine schemes
of treating insects thus, and so
a needed lesson’s learnt, it seems.
No actually, I need a poem that will take up to two minutes to read, and a practise reading just them only went for one minute, which is nowhere near enough time. I’ll have to go back to my original thoughts on which funny poem to read … I hope I can find it …
Do you like rhyming poetry? I find I write rhyming poetry more when I’m trying to be amusing, and write non-rhyming with more serious poetry. I’d love to know how others feel about these things … Please leave a comment!