2011-04-24

The Little Ant with the Criminal Mind (11/17)


(11/17@11/16) The little ant felt like he had a hard time remembering places and how they all connected together.  This was especially annoying while he still lived at the red ant colony with his fellow red ants.  They were all reading the pheromones and going where they led to, while he, unsure of the pheromone trail, or distracted by something else, would sometimes stall, or stray, much to the consternation of the other ants.  This frightened him.  Ants are instinctively programmed to retaliate, to attack any other ant who showed signs of not doing what he ought to be doing.  Losing the pheromone trail meant arousing the ire and the violent retaliation of one’s fellow ants.  It was a constant source of fear and anxiety when he lived back at the red ant colony.  Now even if he wasn’t really especially lost or stalled the black ants would stop and look at him and give him a little extra squirt of pheromones because he was a captive red ant, that much was obvious from the way he looked and, more importantly, smelled, so a priori he must be lost.  In some ways it was annoying to always be pointed in this way but in other ways it was very, very nice to always be above suspicion for the very reason that he was by his very nature so very suspicious to begin with.  Hiding in plain sight, or plain smell, effectively.  It was the perfect cover for one so odd as himself.  He could not approach a black ant without them immediately forming all sorts of assumptions and leaping to all sorts of conclusions, for example, that captive ants, such as red ants, are most likely lost and not sure whether they are coming or going, or if a red ant approaches a black ant it is most likely because they are lost and don’t know what to do next.  To try to communicate with a black ant one first had to get past this sheer wall of prejudices and straightaway persuade the black ant that all of his presuppositions about captive ants didn’t apply in this case.  How to do that?  The little ant was having a difficult time getting ‘round the black ants’ initial biases and tendency to exude and/or squirt pheromones in one’s face.  He decided that he needed to start manufacturing black ant pheromones himself.

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