The ants treat us well.
They provide for us; guide us
to juicy leaf-tips; protect us
from ladybirds seeking prey.
It’s only fair that ants should feed
on our succulent secretions.
Yet there are shirkers who try to leave.
It’s said they reach the boundary,
then are stopped, drugged
on chemicals in the ants’ footprints.
Thereby calmed, they become content to remain.
Still others–ungrateful as they are–
may seek to fly. There are rumors:
an ant bites off an offender’s wings,
or furtively devours a straggler.
These are urban legends–paranoid tales.
The rational among us reject such ravings.
We willingly abide by the ants’ laws.
Our lives are thus civilized.
We aphids are social beings, after all.
And if our wings don’t grow well,
stunted by substances in the ant footprints,
What need have we of wings?
In our secure realms,
we live sedately, sipping sap,
all good productive citizens.
© “Copyright 2/7/2011 by Sara Hall”
All Rights Reserved.