A Small Colony This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I sat silently pondering the colony of ants, each one busily going about its task as if unaware of the others in the hustle of a hum-drum existence. How curious, I thought, that a large number of creatures could live in such close proximity and yet seem so uninvolved with each other's lives. I picked up an ant and watched it crawl up and down my fingers as if in search of a path back to familiarity. Impressed by its firmness of spirit I gently placed it back in its colony. Without hesitation the tiny creature resumed its tasks, as if programmed to do nothing more and nothing less.

I watched as a group of ants tediously carried the carcass of a fallen group member long inches toward a mass of white eggs closely guarded by somewhat larger members of its species. I took a stick and gently prodded the mass of white eggs, making sure that I caused no harm. Instantly, the previously dissociated ants joined together in a collective effort to protect and save their future generation. How strange, I thought, that it would take a threat of danger to instill the need to join together into these small creatures.

I walk down the halls of my high school surrounded by others who are quite like myself. Each person busily goes about his or her tasks as if untouched by our similarities. I stop, and suddenly I am very aware of the likeness that exists between our small colony and that of the ants I had studied in such awe.

Each person touches another somehow each day, yet if we do not allow ourselves the time to appreciate this binding of mutual interest, we are as disassociated as the ants. We should take the time each day to enjoy one another's company and not wait for specific events to develop camaraderie. Life is too short to let a day pass without taking time to smile or say a kind word to brighten the day of each person you meet.

I do not want to spend my life at hum-drum tasks - too structured to feel the warmth; too busy to share the joy of being among many. Because my high school, like many others, is similar to a small colony, each student affects the next. We should not wait for times of distress to unite in harmony, but to share in the pleasure that can be derived from this bond.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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