“So wait,” said Zane. “Every ant in this hill is a Platonic ideal?”

“That’s right,” Queenie said. “Over there? That worker is the platonic ideal of a slice of pepperoni pizza. The one crawling up your leg? She is classical music.”

“What happens when one of them is…you know…squished?” Zane said, looking very carefully at the pepperoni ant.

“I beg your pardon,” Queenie said. “Are you thinking of squishing pepperoni pizza out of the universal experience?”

“N-no! Well, maybe. I am a vegan after all.”

“My anthill is eternal,” said Queenie. “When one of my daughters dies, the concept dies with them. It is as if it never existed.”

“That’s impossible,” Zane said. He took a moment for the absurdity of saying that to a talking ant queen and expecting an answer to sink in before he continued: “I’d remember the pizza I ate before I went vegan.”

“Oh really? Do you remember zorgbl? My daughter representing zorgbl was taken by an anteater two weeks ago.”

“You’re just making that up.”

“See? You don’t remember. Pity, too. Zorgbl was the favorite food of many a human. And I’m sure you don’t remember cypipre either, or yttuggmix.”

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