Lost Herodotus



"For more than 2,500 years, historians have been intrigued by Herodotus' tale of large furry ants that enriched the Persian empire by burrowing for gold. Recently returned from a Himalayan expedition, French explorer-anthropologist Michel Peissel and British photographer Sebastian Guinness say they have located the gold-digging ants on Pakistan's Dansar plain. The "ants," it turns out, are actually marmots. Peissel believes Herodotus' confusion came from the ancient Persian word for marmot, which means mountain ant."     —Time



At first I think the giant ants of Herodotus are termites, but
I am proven wrong. I am proven wrong by a white stone 
which leaves my head and flies across the parking lot. The stone
flies from my head and glides like an owl to roost in a dark corner
of the parking lot. The giant ants of Herodotus dig in the earth
and carry gold from their burrows in their fur. I think the giant ants 
are termite mounds, but I am proven wrong. I am proven wrong
by a young boy who stops and asks me for a cigarette. I am fishing
in my pocket for a cigarette when the stone flies across my skull
and glides silent from the parking lot like an owl. The giant ants dig
their burrows, and Indians give the gold to Darius. I am on my knees
in prayer in a dark corner of the church parking lot, a miracle
of birds erupting from my body. A boy asks me for a cigarette
and I am on my knees, fishing. I think the giant ants might be termite
mounds, but I am proven wrong. The owl roosts silent in the steeple
of the dark church. I have Herodotus in my pocket and I am on my knees,
birds erupting from my skull. I am fishing in the corner for a cigarette
to prove the ants are termite mounds, praying to the birds flying
from my body. The birds erupt like flying snakes leaving shoelace
crisscrosses on my forehead. Herodotus is in my pocket. The young boy
is fishing for a cigarette he can give to Darius. I am proven wrong by a white
bird which flies across the parking lot like a rock. I think the rock is an owl
I am praying to on my knees in the church while Darius fishes in my
forehead for Herodotus to give the giant ants. I am praying for gold
to erupt from my body like the white birds flying from my skull leaving
footprints. I think I am Herodotus, proving the young boy is an Indian
in the service of King Darius. I think the flying snakes are fish, but have
no proof. I think the ants are termite mounds, but am proven wrong.
                                                                                     The giant ants are marmots.


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