Crumbs of Bread - Tales                                                     Back to top      

                                                                                    By: Hussien Ali Mansour
On Monday afternoon, at the end of May, Ali, Ahmad and Hamza were resting beneath an olive tree in one of the orchards that stretched just outside the town of “Aytit.” They were resting after they accomplished their mission.
They started peeking at the captured town of “Hanin,” where they dusted their bodies by the soil of its edges, sitting in that orchard, experiencing home sickness, and writing letters to the hidden land, the fragrance of which they were scenting. The even wrote letters to the thyme that received them with its scent, to the rustling sound of the wind on trees, which saddened shortly afterwards because they had to leave soon.
Ali laid his back to a tree, stretched his legs, placed his arms on his chest, and began observing the place, looking at the facing hill towards the east, where “Hanin” was setting behind it.
Ali noticed two rows of ants marching in two opposite directions. The first row came from the wall of the stratified rocks, heading towards a small nest in the ground. The other row was coming out of the nest, heading towards the wall. Both rows were entering and exiting the nest without carrying anything.
Ali changed his sitting posture and wondered why the ants were returning empty-handed despite the fact that the area was rich with leaves, straws and other similar issues. This issue drew his attention that was attracted further towards a number of ants that were stopping to sense and dally with each other, after which they returned to their track and group.
He remembered that he had a piece of bread in his bag. Therefore, he reached out for it, crushed it with his hands, and threw the small fragments to the ants.
The ants stopped as soon as the fragments touched the ground. Shortly afterwards, some ants approached the small pieces of bread, started sensing them with their legs, turning them over, as if they were smelling them, and handled them with their jaws, carrying towards the nest, inside which they disappeared.
Ali watched the events with great amusement and realized how the ants rushed towards the bread fragments for a pick up. The ants lost their boredom, became amazingly active, and found the provision they were seeking without any trouble.
Oh God, another strange issue was happening. The rest of the ants stopped marching towards the wall and they began gathering at the place where Ali threw the bread crumbs. They starting moving differently, touching each other and whispering, as if they were waiting more bread from Ali.
Ahmad and Hamza were watching and noticed how the ants sensed the bright of love in the pieces of Ali’s bread. It was like a baby taking to its mother, a field talking to its plants, or a rose talking to its dewdrops. It was like someone exiting a prison to a spacious world, where he could discover bonds and relations to find love.
Ali gave away the rest of the pieces to the ants that used a language which we could not understand, yet we could clearly sense it through their primitive actions guided by their instinct. Hence, the ants picked up the crumbs, and marched away to disappear inside the nest.
Ahmad: Praise the lord; should we discard this primitiveness out of our life, it will discard us out of its world and life. Hence its secrets will remain hidden without anyone succeeding in unraveling them.
Ali: It is the choice, my friend, which will define our destiny and ambition. Choice helped me explore the silence of languages and built a relationship with these ants through a few pieces of bread.
Hamza: If it were not for the tenderness of our hearts, we would have stepped over these ants, and we would have crushed their lives and dreams without any mercy or attention from our side.
Ali: Let’s move on, our brothers are waiting for us.
On Friday afternoon of August, Ahmad and Hamza returned to that olive orchard in “Aytit”, after they had accomplished their mission. And again, they peeked at another village named “Rshaf,” and dusted their bodies with its soil.
Ahmad laid his back to a tree, sat in a squat position, then reached out for a piece of bread out of his bag, crushed it with his hands, and threw the small fragments to the ground. Ants grouped around them, and the hearts were sparked with cordiality.
Bullet Pen series, part three; Nasr Encyclopedia of the Resistance Literature; issued by the Lebanese Association for Arts, RESALAT.
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