A free verse poem about the adventures of two scouts.
|The colony grows ever larger.
The demand for food is relentless.
Brave scouts must venture out
into the hostile, dangerous world,
leaving behind safety and support
in order to ensure survival for all.
Two young sisters have reached
the age to take their place as scouts.
Recognizing their duty, they eagerly
set forth into the unknown to seek
a supply of food to nourish the colony.
They wander randomly across vast
open spaces and through green thickets,
marking their trail to guide them home
once they find their desired prize.
The way is arduous, but they never shirk
from their duty. With dogged determination
they gallantly persist in their search,
for instinctively each knows the colonists
must find food or all could perish.
The two young scouts both arrive
at a smooth, hard-as-iron, black surface
extending upward, upward out of sight.
Without fear they begin their ascent.
Upward and upward they climb,
higher, ever higher, until they reach
a high plateau that slopes downward.
Encouraged by the growing smell
of food ahead, they hurry forth
along the sloping surface until coming
to where it narrows dramatically.
Cautiously, first one, then the other
descends downward along the thin pathway
until each arrives at a wider open space.
Each scout steps unknowingly
into a quagmire -- a viscous, sticky swamp
that swallows them. Stuck, immobilized,
and unable to get free, each sister dies
a slow death. Their mission failed,
the colony will never know their fate.
Hours later a man arrives to the scene.
"Great! The new ant trap worked.
These two won't be leading their
fellow ants back here to get into my
humming bird feeder's sugar-water
like so many times before."
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