Monday, January 09, 2006

Glass Ants
J. Crabb


"the sky in the bottle was cloudy."
Donna Marie, June 15, 2211

Most people here tie ants to the leaves of their banana trees for luck during the rainy season. No one remembers why this is done. No one in his or her right mind would dare to question it. This is just how it is here.
It was only last year that Ted decided that ants were just too difficult to tie to the leaves of the banana trees. They wiggled, fell apart and some of the larger ants did bite. Ted had many trees. His wife was very clever with her hands. Ted talked her into making the glass ants yet just below the surface of her thoughts was a feeling of dread. So she made many little ants from glass beads and the whiskers of the countless mice caught in Teds' well placed traps. Ted would then let the mice go which lead to many rumors about whiskerless mice invading the dome.
"Ah" thought Ted, his glass ants tied and true for the day, nothing to do but relax. Maybe he could reorganize his zialic collection. This was not to be. On the third night of the second week of ant tying Ted fell down the basement steps...backwards. His wife found him, his neck broken and covered from head to foot with hundreds of zialics and glass ants.
She ran from the house screaming, "The glass ants! The glass ants!" She would never be the same. Some say she took every bead she had ever made and buried them somewhere deep in the forest. The old folks just sat around and shook their heads. They all had many stories of those who had chosen to find a way around the ant tying. The endings all tragic, yet...there must be a way!

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