I recall it being a humid summer morning. The afternoon was dedicated to cleaning the backyard before our relatives came for a get together. It felt like a middle-eastern fourth of July. My mom was prepping the marinated Tandoori chicken legs to be barbequed for the event, while my dad trimmed the lawn with the precision of a barber. It was essential that everything was prepared to the high Pakistani standards that are nationally set. The best way I could describe these standards would be to compare them to that one aunt everyone has; the one that spends all their time criticizing the choice of decor and highlighting mistakes instead of enjoying the event.
While my parents were drawn into this vacuum of chores, I decided to bag up the grass my dad had slashed through. As I picked up green strands, of what felt like silk, I saw a small hole in the ground. The hole was encompassed in a peak of sand. It was a dormant volcano waiting to erupt. I crouched down to examine the small mountain to see small, black grains of rice crawling back forth. I had stumbled upon an ant hill. The grass was their camouflage, their only method of remaining hidden from the naked eye. I analyzed the ants and what they were doing. What were these insects planning? They began to swarm, they had acknowledged that their disguise was blown. They frenzied around in fear. Fear was instilled within all of the ants; However, they all had different reactions; ranging from ants running away from their home, whilst others hid within the nest out of fear of their fate. However, there was an ant, larger and calmer than the others. Although it was larger than its peers, it was not a queen ant. It quickly collected the attention of the rest of the nest. The swarm had paused to recept, what seemed like, directions from the large ant. The population then aligned single file into a uniform line behind this elder ant. The ants left their home, as they all followed this general of an ant up and around our wooden fence. It was as if the Moses of the ant world had come to guide the ants to refuge.
I wondered in confusion, as to why this ant not instilled with fear. I then recalled a quote, unsure where from: “Everyone has fears, only some have the will to master it”(Unknown). This philosophy seemed to be the only logical conclusion. The ants too were afraid, however the leader of the ants had mastered his fear and didn’t allow his fears to control him. The general did what he needed to ensure that his colony survived and thrived. I solemnly watched as the ant hoard drifted farther and farther away. After witnessing the vital leadership that ended up saving the ants, I finished cleaning the grass up. I went back inside where I prepared for the guests to arrive.