Imagine yourself as
clambering atop a ball of dung
waving about seeking guidance
from the Milky Way.
On a moonless night you
hoist yourself on to the stinky orb
and orient your tiny body
to a galaxy one hundred thousand light-years wide
two hundred billion stars therein.
Then off you go
with your mate at your side,
pushing the poo from the primary pile
to the perfect place.
True, the initial foray into the pile of dung
can be fraught with conflict,
beetles shoving and shovelling with single-minded ferocity,
a minor skirmish may ensue with another
dung beetle daddy looking to sublet,
attempted turd-jacking and road rage always a hazard,
but once the ball is rolling,
your path is straight as long as the skies are clear.
No roaming charges, no user fees
No need to stumble about seeking service
Nor call a friend (can you hear me now?)
No GPS chanting as you near the end of a muddy logging road
The Milky Way is steadfast and simple
Starlight straight to scarab.
Although the brain neuron ratio,
beetle to human, may be
one to a million,
without stopping at Costco or Walmart
the dung beetle is able to
relocate the nursery of its future family
using information from the sky.
A product of one-stop shopping, the dung becomes
incubator, then baby food, and finally it feeds the earth.
So consider selecting dung beetle
from the next-life list and look forward to
precision of purpose,
scientists having detected no angst in their subjects.
Find pile, make ball, study sky, go straight.
Their aim is true.
story © Janet Hodgkinson illustration @ Francis Tremblay