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The ants

Dieses Thema im Forum "Bücher" wurde erstellt von cultbuster, 7. März 2008.

  1. cultbuster

    cultbuster Neues Mitglied

    Registriert seit:
    11. Februar 2008
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    Villingen
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    by Jan Cox 1980 Chan Chal Imi Press


    The Ants


    (la carte des choses: l'essence des choses)


    Once there was a colony of ants. A group that
    went about the proper business of being
    ants.
    Nothing more,
    and nothing less.
    They dwelt not in the past, nor dreamed in the
    future.
    They engaged themselves not in ideological war-
    fare with neighboring colonies,
    nor were there any personality conflicts
    among themselves.
    There were no discussions or debates regarding
    individual duties; everyone had their own
    position and responsibility,
    everyone had their place.
    All-in-all, everything was as it should be for a
    society of ants.
    Nothing more,
    and nothing less.
    One fine day a band of scouts discovered a pic-
    nic table far from the colony's home, and
    it was covered with such a bountiful array
    of foods that the colony could scarcely
    believe the marvelous story the returning
    scouts had to tell.
    Gossip of the newfound cache spread throughout
    the colony and excitement reached such a
    fevered pitch that the leaders began to
    fear a panic.
    To help restore the natural calm of the commu-
    nity, the leaders announced that they and
    the wiseman of the colony would go person-
    ally to investigate the unbelievable re-
    port.
    Consequently, things returned to relative normal
    as the ants awaited the returned and report
    of their wise leaders.
    When the leaders and the wiseman reached the picnic
    table they too were astounded -- it was in-
    deed a staggering sight to behold.
    Not only was there more food than they had ever
    seen before, but the quality and variety of
    the edibles transcended all ant knowledge
    and experience.
    After their initial delight in affirming the
    scouts' story, the wise leaders became con-
    cerned at the potential difficulty the col-
    ony as a whole would have being suddenly
    confronted with the unexpected magnitude
    and diversity of the almost 'mystical'
    discovery.
    They retired to the shade of a nearby tree and
    pondered the problem.

    Then one of the wiseman had what was, for an
    ant, a most unusual idea.
    To help prepare the colony for this shocking new
    experience, and to minimize the possibility
    of riot and pandemonium, he sugessted that
    they devise a 'map' of the picnic table and
    present it to the colony before they be al-
    lowed to visit the area in person.

    After much discussion, and after the wise ant
    had formulated and described exactly what a
    'map' would be, it was agreed that this
    would be the best possible approach under
    such unexpected circumstances.
    To stall for needed time, one of the scouts was
    sent back to the colony to report that the
    leaders would yet be gone a few more days,
    and that when they returned they would
    bring most joyful and unexpected news.

    That done, the wise ant began the formidable
    task of constructing, from scratch, his
    notion of a 'map'.
    He first had to devise a means of transferring
    his abstract idea of a map into physical
    reality.
    Among his immediate tasks were:
    The invention of a written ant
    language;
    The discovery of paper, and
    the production of writing
    utensils.

    A most redoubtable undertaking, -- an almost un-
    believable sight; one lowly ant doing in a
    few short days that which took man thou-
    sands of years to accomplish.
    But necessity and intent ruled the day,
    and soon the task was completed.
    On a small paper napkin, under the wise ant's
    direction, they drew and labeled a precise,
    scaled map of the gigantic picnic table,
    complete with detailed pictures and
    invented names for all the mirific
    morsels.
    Indeed, the map was a work of art.
    It was beautiful drawn,
    carefully scaled, and
    laboriously colored.
    An ant masterpiece, without doubt.
    (And, I might add, the dawn-
    ing of a new day for the
    humble ants.)

    Carefully and painstakingly they carried the map
    back to the colony, and as they drew close
    a lookout sighted them and rushed back to
    tell the waiting populacer the news of the
    impending arrival.
    There was unparalled excitement in the colony
    as the ants anxiously awaited their return-
    ing leaders and the findings of their ex-
    pedition.

    After the leaders had quieted the populace, they
    all gathered around the napkin-map and the
    wise one explained its purpose.
    He first interpreted for them the written lan-
    guage he had devised. He then defined what
    the scale of the map represented. He then
    lead small groups around the napkin-map as
    he attempted to explain its purpose and
    every detail.
    After all of the ants had taken the tour of the
    map and heard the wise one's exposition
    thereon, the leaders were satisfied that
    they made the proper decision.
    But when night fell they
    became less sure.

    As the leaders roamed about the colony they
    found a reign of excitement;
    The ants had no idea of sleep that evening.
    They were gathered in large and small
    groups engaged in furious discussion, but
    discussion NOT about the miraculous food
    discovery -- no !
    They were all
    wildly talkin
    about the map!

    The leaders gathered together with the wise one
    to consider this unexpected turn of events,
    and after staying up all night considering
    the problem they called the colony together
    the next morning and attempted a further
    explanation of the map and what it repre-
    sented.
    But the ants showed no interest in the food that
    the map represented: instead, they were
    filled with questions regarding the map it-
    self.
    Perplexed, the leaders withdrew once again to
    deliberate the matter, and after a time the
    wise one proposed a new plan. He reasoned
    that if a new, enlarged map were made with
    greater detailing on a scale that more
    closely resembled the picnic table itself,
    then the colony would more readily realize
    its purpose and intent, and would be anx-
    ious to address themselves to the practical
    matter of journeying to the table and
    availing themselves of its offerings.

    So again the leaders secluded themselves and set
    about the task at hand. They unfolded the
    original napkin so that they would be four
    time the size of its predecessor.
    They worked both day and night, and again pro-
    duced a work of art.

    When the new, enlarged map was presented to the
    colony the ants were more excited than be-
    fore.
    They ran here,
    they ran there,
    they ran everywhere.

    What a sight to behold!
    Thausands of ants scurrying to and fro.
    Stopping first here,
    then there.
    Examining a drawed labeled 'chocolate
    cake' and dreaming of what manner of exqui-
    site delight this strange thing might be.
    Then one would stop and contemplate the
    area marked 'potato salad' -- potato salad
    -- what a pleasant ring to the very sound
    of it.
    There was much pushing and shoving as they scur-
    ried about, and there was graet discussion
    concerning the possibble nature of these
    mysterious 'cakes' and 'salads'.
    It was a non-stop holiday:
    running and looking,
    looking and discussing,
    discussing and running.
    (I told you a new
    day was dawning.)

    The leaders were almost beside themselves with
    bewilderment. The colony was ignoring its
    everyday duties and responsibilities, and
    the map, rather than providing to be a aid
    in their assault on the picnic table, had
    become an end unto itself.

    In one final, desperate attempt, the wise one
    persuaded the leaders to send back to the
    picnic table for more napkins, which he
    pieced together into one gigantic map, ri-
    valing in fact the actual size of the
    table.
    It was the ultimate masterpiece: faithful in
    size, color and detail to the table and its
    reputed rewards.
    At its unveiling the colony
    was in pandemonium.
    The ants were so infatuated with this colossal
    reproduction that it became impossible to
    get them off the map and on to their normal
    duties of securing food and building shelt-
    er.
    The ants simply adopted the gigantic paper nap-
    kin-map as their new home.

    They lived, slept, made love and died on the
    map.
    They developed stories and legends about partic-
    ular areas and aspects of the map. Myths
    grew up around certain of the unexperienced
    substances depicted thereon.
    Ants, here and there, gained a reputation con-
    cerning their knowledge in certain of these
    areas:
    There were the 'Chocolate Cake Experts';
    The 'Potato Salad Guides'
    'Parsley Gurus,' and the
    'High Priest of the Chopped Liver'.

    Quite soon the colony fell into complete disar-
    ray.

    Being in such close confinement with one another
    on the limited surface of the map, they
    grew quarrelsome and discontented. They
    began to fight among themselves over non-
    material interests of 'opinions, beliefs,
    and interpretations' of the map, and kill-
    ings became frequent.
    The final straw was that in ignoring their nat-
    ural ant responsibilities they found them-
    selves without a normal food supply, and
    they began to try and eat the unnourishing
    map and its pictures of food.
    After this, the inevitable--cannibalism.
    A few of the leaders and wise ones found this
    all a most sorry sight, and with great re-
    luctance decided to abandon the whole af-
    fair.
    Taking nothing with them but their experience
    they silently retired to the picnic table,
    where they ate in peace and reflected on
    just what'n hell had all happened.


    by Jan Cox 1980 Chan Chal Imi Press
     

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