The Ants of Brazil

Crying, shaking with grief, alone and also lonely, Ansley felt the warmth of the dog’s haunch against hers and then felt its tongue on her leg and realized it was licking the leg of her pyjamas where some maple syrup had dried from the day before, when relatives were still in the house caring for her mourning.   Am I tricked? she wondered.  Is this animal’s drive for food and warmth a counterfeit bill that I am hoping to buy my comfort with?  Or is it like the jaws of the ants of Brazil, that bite each other for a reason who can say, but which still do the job of making a living bridge that ants can walk across?  She cried and hugged the spaniel, shoved her face into its neck, dried her cheeks with its fur.  I am halfway across she thought, and still don’t know if it is a bridge to the other side.


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