The Sacred Ant - Part 1
Many years ago, there was a land where ants were sacred: the workers of God. Like men, they used to go through the valleys, during Summer and Spring. They looked for seeds, dead insects, dry grass, bread and everything else they could store in their granary. The only difference between man and them was that he had to sow the wheat while they didn't.
One could see them walk long earth paths, disperse like snakes along the grounds, between harvests, along the roads even like small dots on the sand on the riverside, whose waters, sparkling and tepid, in high summer, sometimes took with them some of the most careless… That was a situation not very common, less frequent than the flying of the eagle, fishing in the river, but more frequent than the succession of the seasons.
I remember as if it was today. I was a child and when I was playing with other children in the middle of the corn straw, that evening was beginning to be "tinged" by the pearl shading of the sun light. The smell of corncob and of some greener leaves, was so intense that I never forgot it. I got tired with the play and got a seat on the floor with my legs extended and naked, because I was wearing breeches, and there were they: the workers of God. Some of them were going around my legs, others mistaken me for their lunch and bit me with all their strength, but to me that sweet nipping was like a gentle kiss of mother nature. Near us, on the wall, there was a mill made of canes and leaves. Its helices were fragile and yellow, almost white, and were gyrating happily, with the same joy that the wind and the sun were bringing. Its presence was so subtle, that we almost did not notice it. Nevertheless, with time, we learned to appreciate that wind mill.
When I noticed, I was following the track of the ants... Two other children were with me. We wanted to discover the ant-hole and, as we were aware of the long distance to get there, we didn't gave up and started going down the hill, through an old path they were using. We went down… and down, without noticing that the day was coming to its end. The wind was bringing the intense smell of roses, the flowers of heathers, and the observation of each of those beings, in a single line, carrying seeds and straws, was confusing our senses and, as a consequence, we forgot everything else. The only thing we would say, with enthusiasm, was: — How funny! Look what that is carrying!
Those restless workers took us far away and finally, we arrived to a small valley, placed between two slopes, very steep and of a dark green, only shaded by the colours of heathers and by the bright yellow of some other wild bushes.
We continued to follow them, right in the direction of a big round entrance made in the bushes. These blackberry bushes looked like they had been cut by scissors. The earth was also revolved, coloured of yellow ochre, as a sign of being recently disturbed. There were also some footprints going on that direction… we stood still and looked at each other… Was the ant-hole there and would it be possible that a giant ant had been there? We didn't have much more time to think out all this, we heard a wild boar's shriek coming from inside the hole and each of us run out in a different direction!
I followed the path, together with João, right before me. Filipe, completely mad, jumped over to the nearest pine tree and climbed to the top! The wild boar was wandering around and darkness was taking over everything. We were barefoot but, despite that, we reached the top of the mountain in no time. From there we could only distinguish an enormous figure, the wild boar, he seemed furious, and was looking all around, he ran a little bit and then stopped again, and repeated this several times until he stared at the top of the pine tree and decided to stay there a little more.