Never Say Die – A Tale about a House Rat (Chapter 4 – O’lley Follows Ruby )

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Down in the dark sewer pipe, Rye, a big red worker ant is singing while searching for food. “Heigh ho! What’s going on in the drain? I can’t see anything, I can’t hear anything.”

After a while, he encounters some red dewberries. He rejoices and says, “Food, I’d better call the colony here, I’d stumbled across a food.”

Rye happily returns to the nest and informs the colony about the place where he found the red dewberries. A leader now is marching towards that area with a group of ants.

Tank, the ant leader hums, “La di da di da”. Like a classical music conductor, he sways the stick in to and fro to direct the troop’s marching speed. When they reach the dewberries, the ant leader shouts, “That’s it.” and the ant troop stops. He wants them to move forward a bit so he gives the instruction, “Hear now, the colony, make one teeny bit step.”

As soon as the troop stops, the ant leader starts to pass the red dewberries to the worker ants.

He says to Tack, “Here you go.”

Jared says, “I’ll take this”, and carries one with his pincher.

He says to Pinch, “Take one.”

He says to Lobster, “Take one.”

He says to Ed, “Here you go.”

He says to Hans, “Here you go.”

He says to Samson, “Here you go.”

Greg says, “I’ll take two” and carries away two red dewberries back to the nest.

Bon also says, “I’ll take two” and carries away another two red dewberries to the nest.

Henry wants to take three and says, “I’ll take three,”.

The ant leader knows 3 red dewberries would be too heavy for Henry and he says, “Be careful.”

After everyone has had something to carry, the ant leader starts to count the worker ants. He starts to count the worker ants one by one, “1…234” and when he reaches 234, the last worker ant isn’t there. He asks, “Where’s Malleys?”

The ant leader rubs his antenna to connect with O’lley. Immediately, the signal is received and he has conversation with O’lley like on a telephone call.

He says, “Hello.”

O’lley responds to the ant leader, “Come in.”

The ant leader asks, “O’lley, where in this topsy turvy world are you?”

O’lley explains, “Sir, I’m following a possible food source. Losing track of food source. I’ll be back with the colony soon.”

The ant leader feels satisfied with Malley’s explanation and replies, “Be in touch.”

Just a moment ago, when the ant leader is distributing the work load, Ruby happened to pass by. There is a smell of food coming from Ruby and it attracts O’lley to follow him.

Ruby runs and runs until he comes to a part of the sewer that is too dark for him to see. Confused, he questions himself, “Where am I? I got lost. I don’t know how to follow this trail. There is no light in here. At least, I still have my senses.”

Fortunately, Ruby is able to rely on his senses to find his way to the manhole. When he pops his head out of the sewer cover hole, he is alarmed to see the crowd of people that is walking on the street. Fearing for his life, he cried, “O dear, o dear.”

Ruby knows he should not be walking slowly on a street with that many people. He says to himself, “I’ve gotta run fast.” He runs for some distances and then stop to cross the road to the opposite side. Ruby is especially wary of the motor car and other traffic that zoom fast down on the road. He fully understands its dangers and knows he cannot afford to be not alert when crossing the road.

Ruby says, “I need to cross the road. Wait.” Cars and other vehicles are driving fast down the highway.

Once the car has passed the traffic light and road is clear, he gives the signal to himself, “OK.”

Ruby gets on the road. Realizing now he is on the road, he says, “Run, Ruby, run as fast as you can.”

Ruby runs as fast as he could and makes it to the other side of the roadside pavement just before another trail of vehicles come heading down the highway.

When he safely reach the opposite walking path, he cries, “What a day!”

As Ruby runs along the sidewalk, he comes across various food. First, he passes by some mashed potato and coleslaw that are laying beside the trash can. Flies buzz and hang around the rotten food. Disgusted at the rotten food, he says, “No. No rubbish.”

Second, he found some potato wedges that have already gone sour. He is reluctant to eat such food although cheese potato wedge is one of his favorite food. “No, nope.” said he and he moves on to find other food.

Next, he chances upon a moldy cheese bun. Ruby says, “Even food like that can’t tempt me.”

After a while, he found a box of chop suey by the road side. He puts his head into the box hoping to find something he could eat. But all he could find are patches of red mold in the box. “Ew. What’s this?” cried Ruby.

Ruby knows this could not be the end of his search. “Come on, there’s gotta be better food around here.” Said Ruby cheerfully.

He runs and runs until he found a donut near Mama Joe’s bakery. He gives it a bite. “Yum!” It tastes delicious in his mouth. Nearby, he also found a spinach and ham muffin which he decides to bring back to the colony. He says, “I’ll take this back to the colony. Gotta get home.”

He enters through the slanted hole of the sewer cover hole that is just in front and return to his colony.

In the meantime, O’lley keeps following Ruby until he reaches the ceiling near to the manhole. Water drops down from the ceiling “Tik, Tik”. When Malleys sees water, he starts to have phobia. He doesn’t want to drown in water. He cried, “Water!” “Oh my God.” Then, he feels a bit thirsty and goes near to drink the water with his pincers. After clearing his thirst, he exits through the line drain cover by the road side.

O’lley goes out of the manhole and onto the street.Seeing that the rat he is following is gone, he says to himself, “That rat. He’s gone. Where did he go?” After smelling around, he discovers a track of rat scent where Ruby has traveled before. He suddenly has an idea, “Wait a minute. This is rat scent.”

Rubbing his antenna once more, he communicates with his fellow mates in the nest asking them to come quickly. His message to the ants in the colony is, “Send some helpers to where I am. I need help to carry some food back.”

Upon detecting his signal, one ant, Ink replies, “We’ll be there.”

After around 5 minutes, 9 ants arrive. O’lley greets them, “Hello, buddy.”

Then, he directs them to above the sewer. He says, “Here, follow me” and he takes them to the street above.”

He gives them the instruction, “The rat scent is the track to the food. Follow it and we’ll be there in no time.”

One ant, Lear replies, “We’ll do what you say.”

Following the track, they arrive at Mama Joe bakery where they found crumbs of cake on the ground. They carry back as much as they could.

On another day, as usual, the red ants line up in a straight line and the ant commander questions them one by one about their duties. These ants are the ones that have been assigned to scour for food.

The ants in the line says, “Aye sir…Aye sir… Aye sir…”

Cooks, the ant commander asks the first ant (Bug) in line, “Where have you been?”

Bug replies, “I have directed some ants to collect some dead cockroaches in the sewer pipe.”

Commander Cooks praises him, “Good job. I now have another assignment for you. Go to the ground surface and see if you can find any dead snail, dead ant of other species, dead flies or the corpses of any other dead insects.”

Bug replies, “Aye. Yes sir.”

Commander Cooks questions the second ant (Pikey), “What have you found?”

Pikey replies, “Some sugar cubes, sir. This morning, when I was going out to scout the same area I used to scout, I found a long line of sugar cubes that taste fresh. They taste like the sugar from fudge.”

Commander Cooks asks, “Did you sent for the workers to have them carried back”

Pikey replies, “Affirmative. They have already carried the sugar cubes back and kept them in the second storeroom.”

Commander Cooks questions the third ant (Rye), “Where is the food in the pipe you report to the colony just now, Rye.”

Rye replies, “I am delighted to bring this news to you, that I not only stumble across one but loads of red juicy dewberries for the baby ants to gorge in. I have informed the workers about this delighted news. They are on their way to carry them back.”

Commander Cooks says, “Good job. Rye.”

Chapters Navigation

Chapter 1 – Almost Drown in a Tortellini Soup

Chapter 2 – Ruby’s Mother Killed in a Bicycle Accident

Chapter 3 – Ruby’s Encounter with the Red Ants

Chapter 4 – O’lley Follows Ruby

Chapter 5 – Ruby Lets the Red Ants Have the Chocolate Wafer Roll

Chapter 6 – The Red Ants Help to Chase Away the Toads

Chapter 7 – Roxy is Alive

Chapter 8 – The Rats Moving House

Chapter 9 – The Rats Steals a Barge and Monster Truck

Chapter 10 – The Toads is After the Rats Again

Chapter 11 – The Rats Found Their Home at a New Island

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