Crumbs of Bread
By: Hussien Ali Mansour
On Monday afternoon, at the end of May, Ali, Ahmad and
Hamza were resting beneath an olive tree in one of the
orchards that stretched just outside the town of "Hanin" They were resting after they accomplished their
They started peeking at the captured town of "Hanin"
where they dusted their bodies by the soil of its edges,
sitting in that orchard, experiencing home sickness, and
writing letters to the hidden land, the fragrance of which
they were scenting. The even wrote letters to the thyme that
received them with its scent, to the rustling sound of the
wind on trees, which saddened shortly afterwards because
they had to leave soon.
Ali laid his back to a tree, stretched his legs, placed his
arms on his chest, and began observing the place, looking at
the facing hill towards the east, where "Hanin" was
setting behind it.
Ali noticed two rows of ants marching in two opposite
directions. The first row came from the wall of the
stratified rocks, heading towards a small nest in the
ground. The other row was coming out of the nest, heading
towards the wall. Both rows were entering and exiting the
nest without carrying anything.
Ali changed his sitting posture and wondered why the ants
were returning empty-handed despite the fact that the area
was rich with leaves, straws and other similar issues. This
issue drew his attention that was attracted further towards
a number of ants that were stopping to sense and dally with
each other, after which they returned to their track and
He remembered that he had a piece of bread in his bag.
Therefore, he reached out for it, crushed it with his hands,
and threw the small fragments to the ants.
The ants stopped as soon as the fragments touched the
ground. Shortly afterwards, some ants approached the small
pieces of bread, started sensing them with their legs,
turning them over, as if they were smelling them, and
handled them with their jaws, carrying towards the nest,
inside which they disappeared.
Ali watched the events with great amusement and realized how
the ants rushed towards the bread fragments for a pick up.
The ants lost their boredom, became amazingly active, and
found the provision they were seeking without any trouble.
Oh God, another strange issue was happening. The rest of the
ants stopped marching towards the wall and they began
gathering at the place where Ali threw the bread crumbs.
They starting moving differently, touching each other and
whispering, as if they were waiting more bread from Ali.
Ahmad and Hamza were watching and noticed how the ants
sensed the bright of love in the pieces of the thrown crumbs
of bread. It
was like a baby talking to its mother, a field talking to its
plants, or a rose talking to its dewdrops. It was like
someone exiting a prison to a spacious world, where he could
discover bonds and relations to find love.
Ali gave away the rest of the pieces to the ants that used a
language which we could not understand, yet we could clearly
sense it through their primitive actions guided by their
instinct. Hence, the ants picked up the crumbs, and marched
away to disappear inside the nest.
Ahmad: Praise the lord; should we discard this primitiveness
out of our life, it will discard us out of its world and
life. Hence its secrets will remain hidden without anyone
succeeding in unraveling them.
Ali: It is the choice, my friend, which will define our
destiny and ambition. Choice helped me explore the silence
of languages and built a relationship with these ants
through a few pieces of bread.
Hamza: If it were not for the tenderness of our hearts, we
would have stepped over these ants, and we would have
crushed their lives and dreams without any mercy or
attention from our side.
Ali: Let us move on, our brothers are waiting for us.
On Friday afternoon of August, Ahmad and Hamza returned to
that olive orchard in "Aytit", after they had accomplished
their mission. And again, they peeked at another village
named "Rshaf" and dusted their bodies
with its soil.
Ahmad laid his back to a tree, sat in a squat position, then
reached out for a piece of bread out of his bag, crushed it
with his hands, and threw the small fragments to the ground.
Ants grouped around them, and the hearts were sparked with
Bullet Pen series, part three; Nasr Encyclopedia of the
Resistance Literature; issued by the Lebanese Association
for Arts, RESALAT.