There, on the smooth, printed page was a small ant zigzagging haphazardly, making sharp turns every few milliseconds and moving faster than what I would have thought possible on those fragile sticks. Now I don’t usually think twice before putting my index finger to the surface of the book and squashing it dead in its track, but the arbitrary way in which it’s crawling is hypnotizing me.
My gaze is fixated on the little guy with its six tiny legs, slightly pointed abdomen and ever-moving feelers. Its tiny, black body jolts from one side of the book to another, sometimes finding my pencil laying there and climbing it like a bizarre looking, oddly shaped, pink and white acrylic mountain. But then again, how would it know what a mountain is supposed to look and feel like? Or did it? I can feel my mind starting to run, like it often does when it’s not kept busy.
‘Does it know just how big the world is? Just how tiny he is?’
Then it wanders some more.
‘De we know just how ginormous the world is? Just how microscopic we are?’
Suddenly I can hear a girl’s soft voice as if coming from a faraway tunnel, all echo-y. “Miss, how would you say Indonesia adalah negara kepulauan terbesar?” I think I missed a couple of seconds’ heartbeat as I’m abruptly pulled back from my trance to the four walls of my simple classroom before I answer her with surety “Indonesia is the largest archipelago”.
“Ok, thanks miss” my student replied, getting back to the writing task I’d set her mere minutes ago. I looked back down, scanning the words scattered on the page, not really reading any of them. The ant was nowhere to be seen.