The sun beat down on me ferociously, glueing my dark shirt to my back. I stood alongside three others, all awaiting the bus to rid them of the heat. I glanced up the street in hopes that the bus would appear and carry me home. Behind me lay a slight hill, devoid of life, but miraculously covered in the shade of a nearby building. I walked over and sat comfortably in the shade. I felt cooler and a bit victorious, as though I had beaten the sun. I looked at the street just a few feet in front of me and was blinded by the bright glare the sun cast upon the cars. I bowed my head in defeat and gazed at the ground upon which I sat. There I saw the ants working tirelessly to gather food for their colony.
They ran in and out of that doorway to their kingdom. I wondered how many lived beyond that portal. I looked down on them, following their path with my eyes, as I saw them carry various amounts of food inside to safely storage it. I noticed one climbing up my right leg. I killed him, thoughtlessly. His mangled body made me think of children playing with magnifying glasses. I imagined the charred remains of the unfortunate ants.
Would this ant be missed? Would his brothers or sisters ever know of his fate? I stared at his broken body, unmoving in the dust, as several ants passed him by uncaring. I felt sorrow for the lifeless ant. Not one cared that he had died. Truthfully, are we humans any different in this way? I gazed at my companions, whom I had never known and will likely never know. If I saw anyone of them, lying mangled and bloody in the dirt, would I mourn for them? Would I weep for the life that they left behind? I like to think that I would, but unfortunately I have my doubts.
I turned my attention to the ant-made tunnel leading to their glorious palace. Their whole world lay just through that hole in the dirt. To them there is nothing else. Are they even aware of our race? Do they understand that at any moment they could be killed so easily? Or that many of them, entire colonies even, have been destroyed, just because we were bored? This is their great city. Their London, their New York. They work to keep it great, to make it larger, to make it the best. Just as we do with our own.
Do those down below know of those up above? Do the ants know that there are humans, that we can mold their world? Can we be sure that there is not a race above us? Perhaps we are not as grand and important as we think we are. Perhaps we are like ants, living below the surface.