I found myself wondering if the ant was experiencing separation anxiety, being so far from its colony, then I wondered if it could still “feel” its connection with the colony, with the queen. If it could still feel that connection, so far away, would it then, while I was inside the store working, make its way to the ground and try to find its way back home? Surely it wouldn’t think to just hunker down in the shade of the windshield wiper well and hope to be carried back home at a later time, would it?
Then another thought followed that; what if it could not still feel its connection with the colony? Would it wander aimlessly in the parking lot or on the lawn at work until some ant predator came along? Would it be adopted by another colony, or be perhaps enslaved by another colony? Or, would it give up in despair at losing its connection, and lay down to die in the aforementioned wiper well, only to find itself, eight hours later, back in range of its home colony?
Either way, if the ant did somehow manage to stay with the vehicle and get back home, how was it received by queen and kin? Was it welcomed as a lost family member? Was it berated for wandering off and neglecting its food gathering duties? Or, was it able to just slip back into its role and shake off the nightmare it just experienced, setting it aside as having found itself for a time in an ant version of the twilight zone?
And, if it didn’t stick with the vehicle and was forever lost to the colony, I wonder if its neighbors or the queen ever think of it and wonder what happened to it. I wonder if the queen ever pulls a supervisor drone aside and says; “So, whatever happened to ol’ #376,412? I haven’t heard from it for a while.” Probably not, I’ve heard that ant queens are pretty callous about workers and soldiers and whatnot.
Heck. I’ve probably spent a lot more time wondering about that ant than its queen has.
This might say more about me than it does about the ant or its queen, but I decided I’m going to stop listening to me, now.
See y’all next time around.