Chapter 5 - Reporting Back
They travelled home easily on a sheep, and were pleased to be back in their own territory. All three were well fed and rested by the time Jacob called a meeting.
They now knew the location of the stone. They also knew some of the dangers along the way. However, time was an issue as they knew the stone could be moved at any time. Also, reports were already coming in from Stan about other slugs encroaching on his clan’s territory. Issues were debated back and forth. A team of slugs might be able to manoeuvre the stone if it was out of the bucket. They wondered if Anita could quickly produce enough web to float the stone up out of the bucket. Anita was relieved when it was decided that the stone was too heavy for that idea to work.
Then they realised that the slugs would not even be able to get to the shed as their bodies would be much too vulnerable to all the poisons in Parsnip Park. Suddenly Jacob rose and announced:
“It’s time to call in the ants.”
As soon as he said it, everyone else wished they’d thought of it first. Ants would be able to get to the shed and were strong enough not only to lift the stone out of the bucket but also to carry it out of the Park. Surely not even the residents of Parsnip Park would try to stop an army of ants.
Communication was a problem. They couldn’t get the main web to tune into the ants, so they had to speak to Stan and his slugs who then in turn spoke to the ants. It was time consuming and frustrating. Dancer tried to give accurate directions but worried that they might not be interpreted clearly.
Stan reported that the ants’ leader was Captain Flame, a fearless fellow who was nevertheless perturbed by the knowledge that there was a giant rat on the loose. Despite this, the intrepid ants were willing to take on this challenge and Captain Flame was busy organising his troops and sorting his strategies. In no time at all Stan called to say the ants were assembling and about to set off.
Dancer decided the least she could do would be to go along and watch them from a height. Although she wouldn’t be able to guide them, at least she would know what was happening. Caroline and Gregory supported her again by travelling to the gates of the Park once more, although this time their mood was rather sombre.