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STREET CANALS IN THE EYES OF AN ANT: What You Don't Know Hurts Them


You always walk past streets and take them for granted--especially street canals. You think they're just there to take dirty fluids out of houses and down into the messy and musty drainage. In fact, you never stop to intently look at street canals and marvel at their existence.

Because you're not too appreciative of down-to-earth city life, like ants do. But you should know better--a good perspective always comes from the bottom up.

Did you know that street canals have an awesome rushing sound like what mighty rivers have? You wouldn't, unless you're an ant--or at least have one for a friend, like Adam. Adam here (he's watching this article being typed as it appears on the PC screen) has been a friend of mine for years. And among exciting things he tells me from an ant's point of view is the rush of a mighty street canal.

As Adam Sees It 

From about a few meters away (using ant measure), you'd hear the awesome sound of rushing water like a thousand thunders going rapidly downstream and feel the earth shaking a bit. Sprays of vapor hit your face and the distinct scent of street canal is heavy in the air. You know that it's just a few steps from you now. Then, walking further (and then you run in excitement), true enough, you start seeing the edge of the street canal. Nothing like it in the city. It's just breath-taking!

Then you soak your feet just at the water's edge, feeling the coolness but careful not to be carried by the waves. Then you "shoot the rapids" by riding on a stick or leaf rushing you by (you quickly jump onto it with perfect timing) and enjoying the crazy ride downhill. A lot of us ants do that--and we scream at the top of our voices--but I guess you humans don't hear a thing. It's because you're all engrossed with your petty, robotic lives in the city.

(Ants sometimes talk like that--insulting). Adam continues:

But if you just stop and open your ears and be sensitive, you'd hear the faint echoes of our boisterous enjoyment as we brave the rapids kayaking. Some of us take a cockroach leg along for a picnic-lunch later, and that's super cool.

But all the fun gets spoiled once you humans clog the canals and drainage. That's El Nino to us--no water in the canals. Drought. Or sometimes, stagnated canals. So we start marching into houses, spoiling your food and grains and even hiding under your bed to bite you at night. Then we hide under glasses and cups so we can suddenly surprise you when you get a glass of water to drink--you look and there we are, floating in your drinking water. Sometimes, we even invade your underwears.

End of Adam's Story (It's me talking now)

So fellow humans, don't clog street canals. They may be nothing to you but they're posh vacation spots to ants. To preserve the city ecology, make sure street canals are preserved properly.

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