The Secret Lives of Men and Ants


“Consider the Pismire thou sluggard . . . it is the smallest of creatures yet it raises an extraordinary stench when threatened.” —Carey Richard

A Few Facts about Ants

  • The word “ant” comes from an old German word meaning, “to bite.”
  • Ants are social creatures and very territorial. They will sacrifice their lives for their own community but they can be very aggressive toward other nests. (Science Daily)
  • According to National Geographic, male ants have only one role—mating with the queen.
  • Worker ants are all female.

Men are not hard to understand. They’re like ants—prone to jealousy, territorial, aggressive, and single-minded about one thing in particular. They are strong, have a nasty bite, and they’re really sensitive about size. It’s the testosterone. But, surprisingly, they want the same things women want.


According to a New York Daily News article, published March 11, 2008, high-end call girls, some charging $5,000 an hour, said the majority of their time with clients was spent not having sex, but in conversation and companionship.

Researchers across the board have discovered that men pursue extramarital affairs primarily for sex while women have affairs wanting affection. But they have also discovered that men get emotionally attached in the affair while women become addicted to the adventurous sex. Men and women both want the same things; they just go after it from a different angle.

Men want what women want with some adjustments to priority. They want excitement, stimulating conversation, companionship, love, and occasionally, some time alone or with their friends. And like ants, they don’t take well to attempts at changing their nature.


There are many kinds of ants: fire ants, army ants, crazy ants, honey ants, trap jaw ants, weaver ants. All of them have possibility. All of them have risk. Some of their behaviors can be modified.

You can put a little fire in a honey ant without fear of changing his nature, but teaching a fire ant to control his temper is a challenge. The success rate for anger management is dismal. Army ants are obedient but nomadic. You can domesticate and potty-train them, but they tend to go a little wild on Saturday nights. Trap jaw ants and weaver ants are good providers, but can be controlling. They’re cunning and become bored when they have everything organized to their liking. Managing them can be exhausting. Forget the crazy ants. They’re entertaining, but unpredictable.

A honey ant may not put skyrockets in flight but he’ll be there on the front porch with you when you are seventy. He doesn’t really need to be managed, and he will change you as much as you change him. He gives more than he takes.

Choose carefully! And if you’ve already done your choosing, understand that there is a little pismire in every man.


Carey Richard is the author of The Poppy Field Diary available on Kindle or paperback.


“Richard concludes each chapter with haiku-like poems, but his prose also sings lyrically . . . Despite the meditative nature of the narrative, historical action continuously looms in the background—the Soviet collapse, factional warring, the rise of the Taliban, and the similarly timed attacks on the World Trade Center and mujahedeen leader Ahmad Shah Massoud.”

“A highly personal story that mines the psychology of betrayal and forgiveness.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“Hauntingly beautiful. Prose—simply amazing!

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Review

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