the ins and outs
of a social network
–ant colony

 


One Response

  1. Garry Says:

    For another take on the social organization of ants, this gentle satire on bureaucracies.

    Departmental

    An ant on the tablecloth
    Ran into a dormant moth
    Of many times his size.
    He showed not the least surprise.
    His business wasn’t with such.
    He gave it scarcely a touch,
    And was off on his duty run.
    Yet if he encountered one
    Of the hive’s enquiry squad
    Whose work is to find out God
    And the nature of time and space,
    He would put him onto the case.
    Ants are a curious race;
    One crossing with hurried tread
    The body of one of their dead
    Isn’t given a moment’s arrest-
    Seems not even impressed.
    But he no doubt reports to any
    With whom he crosses antennae,
    And they no doubt report
    To the higher-up at court.
    Then word goes forth in Formic:
    ‘Death’s come to Jerry McCormic,
    Our selfless forager Jerry.
    Will the special Janizary
    Whose office it is to bury
    The dead of the commissary
    Go bring him home to his people.
    Lay him in state on a sepal.
    Wrap him for shroud in a petal.
    Embalm him with ichor of nettle.
    This is the word of your Queen.’
    And presently on the scene
    Appears a solemn mortician;
    And taking formal position,
    With feelers calmly atwiddle,
    Seizes the dead by the middle,
    And heaving him high in air,
    Carries him out of there.
    No one stands round to stare.
    It is nobody else’s affair
    It couldn’t be called ungentle
    But how thoroughly departmental

    Robert Fros

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