Footprints in the sand …

He sighed and looked at the long white and tan expanse in front of him. He had hoped for smoother terrain but as far as he could see there were peaks and valleys, with multicolored tinges of something he couldn’t identify sparkling in the distance. This would be a long day. “A job is a job,” he thought and sighing again, took the first step and began his climb.

It was early in the day and he was still feeling alert, cool and optimistic. He found his stride and marched on. Up and up and up; it seemed as if he would never reach the summit. He stopped and looked backwards; he had come quite a long way and that made him happy. As one of the senior members of the colony, successful missions were important to him; after all, in many ways he was responsible for the future of everyone he knew and loved.

He ascended the summit in record time and stopped to take a little break while surveying the landscape below. Once rested, he took an inventory of everything in his sight.

When done, he decided to make his descent down the middle of the mountain rather than turning back; he really wanted to know what had been responsible for the colors he had seen at the start of his day. He scooped a handful of the dirt from the top of the mountain and began his descent, dropping a few grains of sand every so often so he would be able to find his way back.

To make his time go faster he decided to sing. “What was that silly song?” he thought. “Ah yes” he smiled to himself as he enthusiastically began, “the ants go marching one by one hurrah, hurrah. The ants go marching by one by one, hurrah, hurrah. The ants go marching one by one, the little one stops to suck his thumb.” He didn’t get any farther as the absurdity of both the situation and the lyrics hit him. It was a ridiculous song for him to be singing, after all, ants don’t have thumbs, and a little one would never go out alone.

Half an hour later he was back home where he presented himself before the queen, “Milady,” he said, “I have seen the promised land.” He told her about the large hill and everything he had seen from it’s peak. ‘We will have food for weeks” he said. “The mountain itself has lettuce, tomato and turkey, and from the top of the sourdough peak, I saw a forest of fruit, a cake and a bowl of chocolates. There is also a large bowl of something a large furry beast was eating which looked delicious.”

“Well done my scout,” she said. I hope you did not leave any footprints in the sandwich. We don’t want the people to know we are coming. He smiled. He never left footprints in the sandwich. He was a professional.

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