The mantis king

Long ago, the mantis was young and slender
As a new formed blade of grass,
And tipped and tumbled at the vaguest breeze.
Enormous food-bearing beasts abounded,
But his poor wee jaws could only open so far.
He could only eat mites (he favored red ones).

Then one day, something remarkable happened.
As he sat hungry, near a gargantuan useless breadcrumb,
A tiny ant appeared, ripped a piece from the crumb,
And carried it away.
Then another, and another came.

Tiny, yes, but many, many mites
Could not equal the weight of just one ant.
And there were hundreds,
For the trickle had become a stream,
Hour after hour.
The mantis ate like a fat king.

And fat and large he became, king of all
Within his hideous grasp.
No grasshopper, no June bug so boisterous
It escaped his perfected skill.
The little ants that nourished him were now ignored,
Out of favor against the panoply
Of hulking nutrients.

Then, for no apparent reason, the days grew
Shorter.  It was damned chilly.
Not so bad in itself, the mantis thought,
But food was getting harder to find.
There were those niggling little ants.
Not even a decent snack.

The Mantis was himself grown huge and ponderous.
He sat for hours, hands in position to pounce,
But no food presented itself.
Bye and bye, he fell from the twig,
Exhausted.

First, one tiny ant appeared, ripped a piece from the mantis,
And carried it away.
Then another, and another came.

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