Thursday, February 07, 2008

Flies by night

Appu idly watched the flies knocking against each other in the midday sun. They seemed so stupid, he thought to himself. All they were fighting over was a watery ring on the rickety steel table, a remnant of the unappetizing tea he’d just had at the roadside tea vendor’s. He smiled sardonically. Bloody single-winged insects. Ants were much better. Hardworking little things. What did that encyclopaedia call them? Eusocial. He went home to his dark lair, devoid of any sunshine (he preferred it that way) and gave his little friends a warm welcome. Later, as he ate his dinner, rice with a greenish paste, he read out aloud: ‘Charles Thomas Bingham notes that in parts of India, and throughout Burma and Siam, a paste of the green weaver ant is served as a condiment with curry.’

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