“May I ask,” said the aardvark, “where you are going?”

“I will be happy to tell you where I am going,” I said. “I am an ant. And I am going up your nose.”

The aardvark considered this for a moment. I mean, really thought about it. I brushed my antennae tentatively into the rim of his right nostril.

The aardvark snorted. “I have decided I do not wish to have an ant inside my nose.” Then he deftly licked at his nostrils and swallowed me whole.

I slid down his gullet thinking foolishly what I would do to punish the aardvark. After all, he hadn’t even left me a moment to reply, or argue.

But now life is much simpler. I live in a small cottage I have built in the aardvark’s liver. Most of what I eat is flensed from this rubbery organ, but every now and then I will take a trip to the aardvark’s pancreas for something sweet. When I was younger I thought all animals were like ants: single-minded, stubborn, and talkative. But since then I have decided most animals are like aardvarks and make their decisions without a thought for their livers.

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