The Ant

There is an ant in my house, and there is a bookcase attached to the wall above and behind the desk my computer sits on. Most days I see the ant walking along the lower edge of the bookshelf, he walks at least 30 minutes every day. I figure he is on some sort of fitness regimen.

I know there are some of you, who, if you saw an ant walking across the edge of the bookcase in front of you would reach out and pinch him between your forefinger and your thumb, or maybe between your middle finger and thumb, and then you’d squeeze him gently. It wouldn’t take much, and then you’d flick him toward the wastebasket. Not me, I like having an ant in the house.

The edge is perpendicular to the ground so I’m not sure how he manages not to fall, sticky feet I’m guessing. He always walks from my right to my left and around the corner of the bookcase and out of sight. Then somehow he walks behind the bookcase and later reappears again walking right to left and around the corner. I don’t remember seeing him appear until he is at least a third of the way along the edge, I’m thinking he must have an invisibility cloak like that young Potter fellow.

Where is he when he’s not circling above me? Why he’s on the wall near where the cat sleeps. The cat and he like to play, though not as much now as they once did.

One day I saw the cat trying to catch the ant, usually the cat just sits and stares at him tilting his head to one side and then to the other. But even an ant can’t be eternally vigilant. He must sleep. He may read a good book. He may even daydream from time to time, yes that was it, the ant was daydreaming, and the cat got him. He had the ant in his paw, and then he started hopping around and shaking his paw. I laughed. I’m not sure if I should have. Was the ant just tickling his foot or was he biting? “Play nice,” I said.

This continued for a time, and then either the ant got tired of the game and jumped to the floor or the cat shook him loose. I was worried about the ant, I didn’t see him land; he may have had a hard landing. I didn’t see the ant for the rest of the day, but the next morning there he was doing his wall walking right in front of me. I said, “Hi ant, how you doing.” He ignored me.

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