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©Apirana Taylor 2001


Reihana the ant picked his way along the path that passed through the blade of grass
forest. He climbed to the top of a twig and stopped and looked. In front of him was a mountain.

'Get out of my way1' yelled Reihana. 'I 'm on my way to the river to bathe.'
'Of what importance is it for a little chap like you to bathe,' laughed the mountain who was taller than the sky.

'I must wash,' said the ant looking up. 'I've come of age and am now a warrior ant. I must go to the river and cleanse myself in time for the great ant council that comes only once every thousand years.'

'Well ant,' said the mountain. 'I'm over five hundred thousand years old. A thousand years is not long. You can wait for the next council meeting. I'm not shifting.'

'Get out of my way,' yelled Reihana. But the mountain would not move.

'Chudka Popoy Ugh Cha Cha,' yelled Reihana and he jumped off the twig and began to dance. 'I'll fight yuh,' he yelled. 'Chudka Popoy ugh cha cha. He sang and danced round and round.

Winter came. The mountain turned blue. Reihana turned red with anger. He leapt up and bit the mountain. Still the mountain did not move.

Reihana stood back. He was about to run at the mountain and bite it again, when out of a crack in a pebble crawled Mary, a young bridal ant.

'Look out,' yelled Reihana. 'I'm about to kill that mountain.' But she didn't hear him. 'You stupid girl,' he yelled and he leapt at her. He was about to bite her head off when suddenly he looked at her. 'You are a beautiful bridal ant,' he said. And he forgot about the mountain. And they danced together.

They had lots of little children and still you hear them sing, 'Chudka Popoy Ugh Cha Cha,' as daily they cut up the mountain and cart it away. Stone by stone. Grain by grain.