Lost in a realm of its own
a toad turned moth
saunters on a creeper’s stem
whistling a somber tune.
Out of nowhere an ant approaches
and steps forward to block the jaywalker’s path.
“Who dares invade my territory!” screeches the ant, striding closer and jabbing the moth in the face.
The moth stills, startled, its expression unchanged.
Its beady eyes unblinkingly stare at the glaring ant.
‘I mean no trouble’ it means to say but can’t force the words out.
‘The ant has injected a toxin’ the realization hurtles like a stone down its slack throat.
Its thoughts quiver.
It makes another feeble attempt to speak. But cannot get its frozen tongue to move.
Wings folded, it retreats in silence as the ant watches unmoving.
As the moth descends, the ant softly says, “The effect of the toxin shall wear off once you set foot on the ground.”
The moment the moth’s spindly feet touch the damp earth, its wings flutter and it ascends, leaving behind the ant and its world,
whistling a happy tune
surfing the gentle breeze
a toadish smile lighting up its moth face
its thoughts absorbed in a space of its own making…

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