empty handed

I had lunch alone the other day. I bought a box of fried vermicelli from the 7-11 below my office and ate it in the tiny room we call a pantry. Eating a RM1.80 meal in a tiny space can be pretty cozy. I got to read the backs of cereal boxes and found out that our large toe is vital to our body as it helps us balance and keeps us from falling. Also, did you know that the fastest muscle in the body is the eye muscle? Anyway, I didn’t know. But I love fun facts.

Then I caught sight of an ant in the sugar jar. It was the only black in the white landscape. The lid was shut and it was all the sugar an ant could take—and more. But it wasn’t enjoying it. It was circling the circumference of the glass jar again and again. When the ant was satisfied with moving horizontally, it traveled vertically. Up and down and up and down again.


I’ve always thought ants loved sugar, but this one certainly looked like it only wanted out. Perhaps it had its share and had enough. Maybe it was having a sugar high. Maybe it thought that too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Maybe it wasn’t good to/for the ant. I found myself empathizing with it.

So I opened the lid.

The amazing thing about the ant was not that it escaped, but that it did not (or made any effort to) carry a single sugar crystal out with it. The ant left empty handed and headed towards the unknown, where everything looked like giants. It’s as though the ant thought that it was more dangerous to live in the sugar jar of comfort and abundance than in a strange place without a back-up plan.

And it was probably right.



  1. lilly

    i like this post :)

  2. thundered cat

    thank you, lilly :)

  3. Pilgrim

    poor lil guy. i guess it’s no fun having all the things u’ve dreamed of but no one to share it with. i wonder if the ant went to get his buddies to haul all the sweet stuff home. being the biological robots they are.’must… feed… colony…’

  4. thundered cat

    to be honest, i never thought about the ant being alone. heheh. i only thought about the adventure.but that’s a good point!

  5. leyon

    Does that picture mean you really know how to push my buttons? :P

  6. thundered cat

    it means whatever you want it to say.

  7. v.Hah

    walau! every since i changed jobs u have been eating RM1.80 fried vermicelli alone in the pantry? poor u! why ah keong and ah beng nv ajak u out? hehe… the ant probably went looking for his friends…. and the ant’s friends probably will nv believe him/her…. imagine me coming back and telling everyone that i found apot of gold at the end of the rainbow…. hihihi

  8. thundered cat

    they were honeymooning in casablanca!

  9. *thelongbrake

    i think this is brilliant. thanks for sharing it.

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