Magix 'n' Curses
..the argument continues

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

How a species was saved

Much before the first human walked the earth, another social creature made its entry into this world, vying for breathing space with the rest of the living beings. At first, a single male ant popped out of nowhere. He felt extremely lonely. "I'm supposed to be a busy creature", he lamented, "but I have nothing to do!"

He roamed around looking for something to do. He walked from one end of the earth to the other, looking for company. Never resting, never looking back to see how far he'd walked, he carried on braving the harsh weather and the threat of being trampled upon by creatures far bigger than he was. He was frustrated with life, frustrated with God for having abandoned him so. He walked back to where he started from, and received a pleasant surprise.

He saw a female ant standing a little distance away. He'd never seen a more beautiful sight in his life. The female ant pouted her mandibles, and performed as close an imitation to a cat-walk as can be performed on six legs. To humans, her strut might have resembled a careening truck steered by a drunken driver, but to the solitary male ant, it was the confluence of Ash dancing to Khajre Re, of Yana Gupta walking down the ramp in all her glory, of Angelina Jolie doing what she does best, of.. oh, never mind.. It was the most beautiful sight he'd seen.

"Where were you all this while, oh fair maiden?", he enquired. It didn't matter to him that she was blacker than the night. He'd rehearsed this dialogue all through his cross-continental trek, and was desperately hoping to get a chance to say it out loud. "I was right here all along, my fair Prince", she cooed. Ants had a thing for the word 'fair'. Crazy creatures.

The little cog in the little wheel in the little brain of the little ant turned a little. "You mean you saw me looking down in the dumps, feeling bored out of my mind, before I embarked on my journey?", he asked, his eyes narrowing. She giggled and nodded her head, her antennae making swishing sounds reminiscent of the sound effect that accompanies every movement of Rajnikanth's hand. The little cog turned a little more. "And you didn't call out to me? You didn't care to stop me?", he growled, his voice taking on as much of a menacing inflection as his little squeak would permit.

"I'm sorry!", the female ant cried, "I thought you were just going out for a stroll. While you were gone, I ate this grain of rice that had been marked 'FORBIDDEN', and from that moment onwards, the indicator needle in my mind went from Crush to Love to I-Can't-Wait-Anymore! Come here, tiger!"

"To hell with you", the male ant retorted. "Now I know where I stand. I'm just a plaything to be used when needed, and discarded when you're satisfied." The female ant gaped at him, horrified. She hadn't expected him to react this way. She had been given instructions from Up Above that she was the Queen and that every male ant would obey her command without a word. But here was the only male ant in the world, standing her up even though she was literally pleading.

She recollected the contract she'd seen before being despatched to Earth. It had clearly mentioned seducing the male ant and building a colony. The entire future of the ant species rested on her shoulders, or perhaps a little further down! Panic started to creep in. She begged, she threatened, she cried, she joked, she performed a little belly-dance.. nothing worked. "Why won't you cooperate, oh great warrior?", she wailed, "Don't you realise the consequences? We'd probably be the first, and the last ants ever to walk the face of the Earth!" The male ant was unmoved. He walked off in a huff, leaving the Queen high and dry.

The Queen spent the next few days trying to sweet-talk him into giving in. She even tried sneaking the forbidden grain in his lunch, but he found out. The countdown timer in her body-clock started flashing warning lights and sirens rang in her head. But he was stubborn in his stand. The countdown timer went into the critical zone. 10.. 9.. 8.. 7.. 6.. 5.. 4.. 3.. She knew it was now or never. She accosted him on his way to collect grains.

"I'm committing suicide", she said grimly.
"Wh.. wh.. what???", he stuttered, dropping his grain in the process.
"I'm committing suicide", she reiterated, "It makes no difference whether I die today, or later. We've failed in our mission. If we don't make an effort to build a colony within the next two days, we'd never get a chance to again. And with us, our entire species will die a premature death. You are way too stubborn for your own good. It was nice knowing you, err.. I don't even know your name."
"I'm Adam", he mumbled, "and I'm sorry, I don't know yours either."
"I'm Eve", she replied, "Goodbye."
She turned around, and started walking with great grace. "Goodbye cruel world", she said softly.

The aforementioned cog began to turn again. "WAIT", he screamed. "Wait, I'm ready!"
The Queen turned her head in slow motion. "What did you say?", she asked, her frown easing into a relieved smile. "I said I'm ready. Let's do it!", he replied, grinning broadly.

Both of them ran towards each other in ultra-slo-mo. Wings fluttered, and they took off, consummating their relationship midflight.

A few days later, their efforts bore fruit as she shed her wings and laid her eggs. "Our babies", she whispered, "Aren't they lovely?" "They are...", he replied in a low voice, "And I almost screwed up." "No you didn't, you screwed me!", she laughed. "I'm really sorry, Princess. I shouldn't have been so stubborn. I gave you such a hard time. I'm such an obstinate prat."

"Oh, don't be silly", she said, "it isn't your fault that you're Adam-Ant".