The Ants

Do ants mourn? It’s been proven scientifically that elephants mourn and anecdotally that horses, dogs, and cats mourn. But ants? Yes, they do. After a serious twelve-hour study observing errant ants, I have concluded that ants do mourn.

The other day when I had my second cup of morning coffee sitting on the couch looking at the paper I glanced over to pick up my coffee cup when I saw an ant. Then another, then another. I started squishing them with a Kleenex, running back and forth to the bathroom to flush them down. It turned out that these ants were strong. They often didn’t squish and I had to be careful that they didn’t creep out of the tissue and up my arm. I captured several of these ants. Then I noticed that they were wandering around walking back and forth in this one particular area. What could that be? Why were they doing that? I kept on squishing, but I was still curious. I looked closer. There was a dead ant that I had squished but not picked up. They were coming to pay their respects. I felt a little bad as I kept capturing the ants. But eventually I thought I had them all.

Later in the afternoon there were another two ants, then three. I got them also. Much later at about ten o’clock at night I glanced over and saw one more ant. He’d returned to the spot where I’d removed the squished ant. He paid his respects. Did he expect a monument or some sort of memorial? Well, there was none.

And then, with a phantom apology to my young grandson who loves all things that creep and crawl, slither and slide, I squashed that ant, too.

My conclusion after this long exhausting study is that ants do mourn. 

© Barbara Scoblic 2019