I just got home quite late after having dinner out with friends and I came across what is not an unusual sight in my kitchen – roughly 5.3 million ants crawling about like they own the place. Now, once upon a time, this sight would have warranted a high decibel soliloquy of intermittent screams and the spraying of a highly toxic substance from a can by yours truly. But now I am much more in touch with the earth. I am kind and thoughtful. Stamping on them seemed much more spiritually acceptable.
Only, after I while I got tired of the whole fight and I thought, well, why can’t we all just live together in harmony?
Now I see my ant friends so often that quite frankly I’m worried if they’re not there. If I get home and there is NOT a line of 5.3 million ants trailing their way cheerily from the water cooler, across the sink, along the cupboard doors and up and down the wooden panel of the doorway like a moving frame I wonder where they are and I get quite concerned. Are they OK? Did they get enough to eat? Did my cat lick them up thinking they were little biscuits?
I’ve taken to feeding my ants more than my other animals, which are two cats, a cockroach and a gecko who shits on my bed at night, usually within inches of my face.
Tonight, I left my ants a gift in the form of a knife covered in Vegemite smears. Contrary to popular belief, some ants have a savory tooth and not a sweet one. Of course, this is Ubud, so perhaps these particular ants are just on a detox like everyone else, but my ants seem to love Vegemite and are quite happy to polish off what I can’t finish, which is kind of good for a single female living alone because to be fair, I can be a bit of a waddlesome sloth some days and don’t really feel like washing the dishes.
Tonight I wasn’t thinking. So lost in another world was I that I grabbed a cup and rinsed it under the sink, whilst rinsing away about a thousand of my little black friends at the same time. NOOOOOOO!!!
When I realized what I was doing I turned the tap off quick-smart obviously, but it was too late. Many had perished. I was instantly sad. Oh the tragedy; the peril that ensued as the remaining warriors clung with all their might to my sticky, yeasty brown gift. Precious few survived, hurried off sodden and sorrowed to tell their friends of the event that was born of kindness, but will now go down in ant history only as the Vegemite Knife Massacre.
I had to come upstairs and write this blog in memory of those who didn’t make it. I am sorry, dear friends. Please forgive me. If it’s any consolation the cockroach will terrify me while I pee, the cats will wake me up at 5 am wailing, and the gecko will probably shit on my face while I sleep.
Such is life, in Bali.