Do Ants Sit Down?

Published by: Dolly on 5th Jul 2017 | View all blogs by Dolly

Now, you might say, what sort of question is that? Then again you might not say that at all. But this all started of with the word, is. You see, a number of years ago, I used to mess about with a writing exercise, but then did it less and less until I wasn't doing it at all. Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to resurrect it. Let me explain. Take a book, any book, open it at random, close your eyes and put a finger on the page. Whatever word your finger is on, is the first word you write. Then you just write straight off the top of your head. Don't look for meaning or structure, whatever is in your mind, you write down. Stream it, so to speak. If you come to a stop, close you eyes, start again with the same word, or pick another word., which is what I did, and picked the word, is. I wrote longhand in a notebook, it seems to suit it more than a keyboard. I must admit, I did tidy it up a bit when I typed it out. Any way, it just goes to show where you can end up.


Is there anyone out there? Well, more than one anyway. One implies the individual, and if you're going to go looking for extraterrestrial life, then you want meet more then one, don't you? I mean, you might end up meeting just one, who's a bit of a loner, lives miles away from anywhere, and doesn't know anybody or anything except you! He would end up monopolising your time, to such an extent, that when you're over the excitement and novelty of making contact with an alien, if you weren't bored to the point of yawning, you'd be plotting his downfall. There is another problem with the word one, you might contact a race out there who all look the same. In other words, there is only one species, and they all look the same. This is no good, as you wont be able to tell who is who. It would be like looking at ants, as all ants look the same to me. that insectist? Are ants protected by a United Nations Charter? If so, I might be breaking the law here, and if I am, I might be doing ants a disservice. I know they look all the same to me, but that might not be the case where the ants are concerned, there's a possibility they look different to each other, and have names for each other and a complex, social structure. After all, the do have a queen, don't they? They could also have a government, which brings up the spectre of a Tory or Labour ant, or weirder still, a green ant, campaigning against pollution in the nest. Do ants sit down? Do they go to sleep on their backs with their legs in the air? Personally, I don't think they do sit down. Having a long body and six legs would make it near impossible, the same would go for bees and wasps, or any insect for that matter. I've seen plenty of moths fluttering around light shades, but I don't recall seeing one sat on the edge of the window sill, with four of its legs dangling down while it has a breather. No, I think ants lean against something and nod off.


For a brief moment, the word arachnid popped up. Don't want to go there, so I managed to squash the word by saying to myself, enough is enough, and I'm always glad when I've had enough.



  • AlanP
    by AlanP 11 months ago
    I am very familiar with writing down what passes before your eyes and seeing where it takes you. It can produce interesting results as shown by this blog. Interesting, but I do feel obliged to mention that arachnids are spiders. Ants are hymenopetera and have been flying all day.
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 11 months ago
    I'm also a fan of following loose connections - streaming it- and seeing where it goes. Such fun.
    Ants contain formic acid, the same acid as in Stinging Nettles. Formica is a genus of ants. Also used for kitchen work tops and tables. Did ants make our tables? Hardly fair then, to squash them when they come into our kitchens to check on their work, which they did free, gratis and for nothing. How ungrateful is that. Grates grate. Not the one in the fireplace, that doesn't.
  • Clytemnestra
    by Clytemnestra 11 months ago
    Dolly may have been aiming to produce a "Stream of Consciousness" piece here; a genre beloved of the solipsistic or self-conscious and I think she did pretty well. Write on, Dolly.

    Do ants sit down? Who knows? It's an interesting question but I've never seen one relaxing on a lounger. AlanP says they are classified as hymenopetera but so are many insects with tiny waists, including bees and wasps. Caducean Whisks says that ants contain formic acid but it may be more accurate to say they produce formic acid as a defence mechanism.

  • mike
    by mike 11 months ago
    Dear Dolly,
    Are ants protected by a United Nations Charter? But more to the point, when will they be given the same legal rights as white middle-class males and when will universal suffrage be extended in their direction? This would have been the subject of a story about squirrels but I am no George Orwell and lost the plot!
    Was the ant dispruption of Wimbledon a cry for attention? A political act? A mass demonstration?
    Are they Corbinites?
  • Dolly
    by Dolly 11 months ago
    I think the ant disruption at Wimbledon was an annual demonstration against tennis. For two weeks they have to suffer the sound and vibration of balls and heavy feet pounding on their roof! Can you imagine how awful that must be? The sporadic falls of dust, and in some instances, critical repairs to some parts of the nest as the roof collapses? I think in the weeks leading up to Wimbledon they would have had their engineers checking the roof. Even so, their would still be a number of cave-ins. Fortunately they do get some respite when all the humans go to bed.
    I would also like to clear up my name. I am not a she, I am a he. Dolly is a nickname I picked up at school, and it comes from my surname which is Dalton. any thanks
  • mike
    by mike 11 months ago
    Absolutely. The destruction and removal of an ant's nest from the turf would be a more serious concern the ant population at large, But I recall - viv a viz squirrels - the issue had been the London housing market and the wish to move to zone 6.
  • Snowflake
    by Snowflake 11 months ago
    Enjoyed this immensely. Now I'm off to sketch ants on sun loungers.
  • Dolly
    by Dolly 11 months ago
    Don't forget the shades, and the cocktail glass with the little umbrella in it.
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