I harvested a lettuce. While washing the leaves, a little ant appeared. I wondered if it was in fear of its life? My three millimetres long insect friend seemed indifferent to the maelstrom plug hole. Consider the vastness of the water flow: a Niagara Falls to her a whirlpool cascade of certain death.

city clouds daylight falls

Niagara Falls

I wondered: Do ants bite? No time to worry about this; there is a life to save, and personal danger was not significant. I held out my finger to the ant: a fireman’s ladder of security. She had no interest, turned around and continued to savage for aphids. Determined to save her: I took the leaf away from the waterfall and opened the window to freedom. And when the lifeboat leaf is placed near the escape route. The little creature decides to jump onto a nearby Money Plant: a new jungle to explore, new prey to find, a whole new life. She disappeared from view.

Please take my calculation as reasonable: we’re not here to argue over scales. The ant is 3mm long. The distance from my sink to the lettuce bed is twenty metres. A quick calculation would suggest if the little ant were scaled up to human size, she’d be nearly seven kilometres from home. How would you feel if a giant picked up your workplace and took you seven kilometres away? Not only are you uprooted, but you are also placed next to the Niagara falls without a lifejacket. A nightmare? You bet!

Two days later:

I’m making a coffee. Looking through the window, I see our friend. She’s become tired of the sparse pickings of the money plants and is looking for a way out wandering around the window. And I’m here to help her make good her escape. I put my finger in her path and on the ninth attempt, she climbs aboard. We go out of the door down to the lettuce patch, and the journey is over. Within two seconds: she is foraging the green leaves on her quest for food.

ant on green leaf

Long Way From Home

Ant Lessons

How would we feel? How would we cope with being taken miles away from home without the security of family? Could we deal with the new environment? Embellish the solitude? It is an enlightening thought. And I wonder if enough instincts remain in mind to help us through the crisis. An honest answer is we would not survive. There are no Robinson Crusoe islands in modern society. You can be a starving beggar, and the millionaire fat cat will walk on by. Only when illness strikes will community come to our aid. Security is fragile and for the weak evasive.

The little ant follows its purpose with total dedication. It was away from home with little chance of escape. The money plants offered a moment of hope. However, the exploration of the new terrain proved fruitless. Time was running out, and she could see her homeland and the places of food and security. A glass window was an Atlantic ocean, no way could she travel without help. No matter for the seriousness of the situation, she kept on searching and looking for an answer. The brave little ant would not give up until the final sleep.

scenic view of snow capped mountains from across the rocky seashore

An Ocean Away

I’m pleased to know you little ant. You are an inspiration: an acknowledgement of the potential of nature and why all creatures (apart from mankind) will survive a future holocaust. Away from the colony, her fellow soldiers, and safe lands of harvest, she followed her purpose, braved the situation. Today I’m going to enjoy an ant-like attitude.

Do ants bite? No, they teach us lessons:

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