The Ant and the Butterfly





Recently I watched a pack (okay, I know that’s not the right collective term…) of red ants devour a dead butterfly. They did this so subtly it looked like the butterfly was still alive (it wasn’t) and just doing what butterflies do. But this was nature doing what nature does in another form.


Every Summer without fail (win/win?) I get at least one red ant bite, usually on my feet. And every year I try to avoid this Summer ritual, but some things it seems…………………


What is with the latest trend in my life of bizarre interruptions to my post writing… which I then include in my posts. Is there a message in this which I am missing and therefore causing it to repeat. Or is this just a new ritual.


As I’m writing this… outside with those things known as pen and paper, while basking in a bit of Sun in between this and that… a beige butterfly has landed on my thigh. It thought better of this initial position of choice and quickly relocated to the writing pad, examining the ink. Then it thought better of that position and moved onto the fingers holding the pen, its tongue (is it a tongue?) unrolling itself to examine if my flesh was sweet.


We stayed like this for a few seconds which seemed like minutes until I could no longer stand the frozen moment and moved. It flitted away, on to other pastures. I wonder how long it would have stayed there had I not moved.


I have no photographic proof of this moment. This moment which by the time I publish this post will be long gone, soon to be completely forgotten as though it never happened. Perhaps sometimes it is best if no one believes us…


However I will still recall (for a while) this Summer’s red ant bite because part of my foot is swollen and bears the mark of it. And since it itches like… I think the term is… crazy, I’ll probably wake myself up scratching the itch until it bleeds. Which is really more proof than I actually need that this particular moment happened.


This red ant bite is the result of a fluke rather than a logical process. Usually my red ant bites are due to a foot crossing a boundary into red ant territory and feeling it. No trespassing, Human! This time however my garden hoover (otherwise known as a lawn mower) blew a random red ant onto my foot and in its panic at being chosen for such an unique experience in the world of ant experiences, it bit me.


Poor little thing… with an awesome sting.


I flicked it off… no, I did not kill it for hurting me… I tend to only have that reaction to humans who hurt me, the desire to kill the offender that is. And even then I never follow through. But I’m never sure if my reason for not following through is because of my nature or because of the penalties incurred for following through on such things.


I’ve watched CSI and such… there is just so much to consider when committing murder or a killing that it all seems as though it is far too much effort and hard work which doesn’t necessarily guarantee the wanted results. Or at least the wanted results may be a different type of wanted to the one imagined.


You can however kill with impunity lifeforms known as insects. You can kill an ant with no penalty or even a need for conscience to interfere.


Yet, for the most part… I choose not to kill insects, even the ones I don’t like who sometimes really test my belief in the power of choice and free will and such, or otherwise.


But I am a carnivore, so life does get killed to feed me. But if I wasn’t a carnivore it wouldn’t mitigate the killing of life. The amount of lifeforms killed to grow vegetables and other vegan supplements… but we don’t count insects, and other lifeforms of that sort, do we when we talk about taking a life? Their lives are so short compared to ours that we… adjust our thinking to suit our thinking… and needs… of the moment.


Still… perhaps nature shows us our nature, and shows me my nature.


But what does it show?