Musings of the Reverend Meduri and Dr. Jackass
I came to a realization the other day:
A thought sparked by the ever entropic influence of Nature. For several months now I have had the dignified pleasure of parking in the carport at our apartment. Needless to say, the carport spot is always preferable to having to settle for length of curb alongside a dark and shady street, if you can even find a spot. With the temporary absence of Cameron, "the pair o' legs," there is no one else to contest for emminent dominan over the space. There was one problem with the carport, however, for some reason bird dropping on my driver's side back door window kept appearing.
I did not make the correlation as to the origins of these foul marks until I frightened a bird living under the carport's wooden roof. A very beautiful and small bird, maybe a blue jay (although with my limited knowledge of ornithology, I can't say for sure) had made it's nest there. As follows with the command of gravity over matter, the dropping had fallen onto my window from the nest that was made directly above my driver's side back door.
After two or three gruelingly uneventful days of leaving home and returning, I noticed a tsunami of ants scurrying towards the direction of the car port. This sort of thing isn't uncommon. Drop a fudgecicle on the ground, those little bastards will have enough 'go juice' for about 4 generations. When I got closer, I was shocked to see that a small bird, a featherless, blind chick to be more precise, had fallen from the nest above my car onto the pavement. From my observation it probably died falling onto the pavement. I shudder to think of how it might have fallen, been abandoned by it's parents and starved to death; blind, scared and alone.
The ants were feeding, as they naturally would, on the sweet and supple flesh of the baby bird. Masses of ants, all crawling all over each other, waving their pincers, knocking their heads together, crowded around this avian sacrifice. The queen called for food, for the survival of her children, and Nature answered with the ripest of fruits. A myrmecological supernova of historical events and paradaigm shift had occured here.
Upon subsequent visits to my car over the course of half a week, I saw the chick stripped down, layer by layer, by those insidious waves of insects. I held a grostesque fascination with observing the organs in the small crevices of the chick's skeleton. At the same time I felt genuinely sad for the tiny bird. It never had the opportunity to experience the glorious freedom of unrestricted flight. I've always felt that the most tranquil and happy creatures on this planet were probably the birds. The ability to pick up and fly anytime, out of danger from any large ground predators, would be the most enlightening and magnificent experience one could have. Out of this thought, feelings of rage and vengeance filled my body. Sure this ant colony would thrive on the pickings they gathered here, but who is to say that the potential of these ants were greater than that of the poor bird.
Maybe this thought was due in part to the fact that humans have always had a kind of reptilian-hind-brain response to creatures that look as (relatively) putrid and creepy as ants. If you saw a 2 foot tall ant crawling in the middle of the road, you would probably jump in your car and try to run it down. From these thoughts of violence, I pulled out my water bottle that was neatly nestled between my seat cushion and the emergency brake (my jury-rigged cup-holder, seeing as how Honda neglected to put them in the '88 Accord LXi) and dumped the three-quarter-full contents all over the ants. Mind you, I've done this before. In my youth, I found nothing more entertaining than kicking at and caving in an ant hill. Also, the ant infestations in the house I grew up in was so severe some summers, that we were constantly on a crusade to murder as many ants as possible to keep them off of the kitchen counter. I was a killing machine, with experience
I watched as their tiny bodies were washed away. Kicking and swearing they were. Trying to hold onto some foothold. I imagined them all being exterminated: water choking them, holding them down and carrying them away to some distant drainage hole, never again to see the warming rays of Sol. Balance had returned to the Universe. Sure, the life of the chick could not be recovered, and knowing full well that the tenacity of a colony of ants never allows itself to be undone, I felt like I had shown Nature what's what.
Today the bird was totally stripped of meat. It's tiny little white frame pecked clean. It's the way of things I guess. I never saw any ant carcasses however. It seemed as though they were either washed away out of sight, or none had died at all and survived the harrowing ordeal.
Who am I to argue with Nature?
It will come to pass
A being held above myself
Will rain down torrents
And I will be swept away
I will be Carrion
A trophy brought home to the ant hill