The Mantis And The Ant

by Duncan Jones

The ant stepped at the mantis, but remained just out of reach
“May I pass across this grass?” began his little speech

“That’s not exactly how it works,” said the mantis leaning over
“You’ve wandered here where danger lurks, sweet lost and lonely rover

Though a sacrifice could be quite nice … might incline to let one through
But until then so sorry friend unless the sacrifice is you!”

“I understand your grand demand,” continued on the ant
“But my arguments and their contents are likely to enchant!

Just hear me out, I’ll challenge doubt, and soon you’ll side with me
No need to scoff or blow me off! My work’s of high degree!”

“You’re very bold, but I have told,” said the mantis, “And you’ve heard
Now run along, go on be gone! I’ll not repeat my word!”

And so the ant turned back toward the path from whence he came
And that was that, the mantis sat, done with the stupid game

Until appeared the ant again, who remained just out of reach
“May this guard now cross the yard?” Began his little speech

“Once more, that isn’t how it’s done!” said the mantis, “Try to learn!
I feel for you, it’s true, I do, I share in your concern!

A lovely show, but still, ‘No! No!’ for I see you’ve brought no bribe
Perhaps your queen is not so keen, doesn’t run the brightest tribe!”

“We all, of course, respect your force,” the ant said, unafraid
“But I have reasons upon reasons, and they’re likely to persuade

A moment more, as said before, I bet you’ll change your song
So if I may, first off ‘Good day!’ This won’t take very long …”

“That’s quite enough of silly stuff!” laughed the mantis, “Are you dumb?
Don’t come back empty handed, just much better not to come!”

And so the ant turned back toward the path from whence he’d traveled
And seeming fine he walked his line, though his plan had been unraveled

The mantis tall thought that was all and asked, “What’s wrong with him?
Oh well makes sense, in his defense, can’t help that he’s so dim!”

But as his thought was done he heard someone, a growing sound …
Then bursting from the trail returned the ant, “Look what I found!

It’s kind of heavy, here, now let me present to you a gift
To change your mind and help you find a cause for thoughts to shift!”

Then he held above his head and threw another mantis slain
“I hope this offer’s good for you, and worthy of your reign

This guy was rude, had attitude that didn’t really fit us
And so now, well, as you can tell he ‘fell,’ no longer with us

Now may I cross your way there boss? Or are we still at odds?
I hope and feel we have a deal, I’ve talked to all the gods!”

The mantis simply frozen managed finally, choked, “No problem!”
“How lovely!” smiled the ant, “That’s just great, fantastic, awesome!

Enjoy your gift, your sacrifice, looks like someone has gone missin’
I’m glad you’re not like that one. He just didn’t want to listen!”

And so the ant continued on, not one to fuss and fight
While to this day the mantis prays, camouflaged and out of sight