I Almost Stepped on an Ant Today
By Carol Kaufman
I almost stepped on an ant today
as it scurried about in its whimsical way.
I was sitting outside on the stoop by the door,
when an ant started crossing the patio floor.
Keenly, I watched from my comfortable seat
as that brave little ant marched right up to my feet.
He paused, then circled, then scrambled ahead
as I lifted my foot up to smash that ant dead.
What happened next, I tell you it’s true,
That ant simply stopped right under my shoe.
Before I could squash it, I heard a voice say,
“Don’t step on me, please; I’ll get out of your way!”
I jumped in surprise, then crouched down to see
a rather large ant looking straight up at me.
He spoke once again in a soft, squeaky way,
“Please do not squash me – at least not today.”
“You see,” he explained, “I am running quite late,
for I meant to report to the queen ant by eight.”
The ant shook his head and wiped his wee brow.
“I’ve a long way to go and it’s nearly eight now!”
“Oh my,” I declared as I crouched down real low.
“Where is this queen ant and how far must you go?”
The ant glanced around then turned back to me.
He pointed and said, “I must get to that tree.”
“Then I turn left by the smooth, grassy spot –
or do I turn right? Oh, dear, I forgot!”
With that, he plopped down right next to my shoe,
And hopelessly sighed, “Oh, what shall I do?”
All at once, an idea popped into my head.
“We’ll find the queen ant together,” I said.
“Together?” he squeaked, still feeling some grief.
I nodded, while placing beside him a leaf.
“Climb aboard,” I announced. “I’m your captain, you see.
As we search for the queen our first stop is the tree.”
“Then we’ll move on to the smooth, grassy spot.
From there—that’s the part of the trip you forgot.”
I carried the leaf while the ant sat on top,
to each part of the yard, when the ant shouted, “STOP!”
“It’s here!” he exclaimed, pointing down to the ground,
where hundreds of ants were clustered around.
This anthill was surely the biggest I’ve seen.
“So, this is the place you report to the queen?”
“Right here,” he replied, as he stepped off the leaf.
“Thank goodness we’ve found it—whew, what a relief!”
He thanked me and sighed, “I hope I’m not late.”
“You’re not, I declared, “It’s one minute to eight!”
As the ant dashed away I smiled and said,
“I’m sure glad I chose not to smash that ant dead!”