The Ant’s Lost Message
The Ants Call a Council
Long, long ago somewhere in Africa… When the earth and all the people and animals were new… The ants decided to have a conference. Since ancient times, the ant has had many enemies and because ants are small and some say destructive, there have been many slaughters among them. Most of the birds were their enemies. But Anteater and Aardwolf lived almost entirely from them. Centipede tormented them all the time, whenever he had the chance.
So some spoke together and thought it would be good to have a council and see if they could not come up with a plan to stop these predators that would eat them. Perhaps there was some way they could retreat to a place of safety when attacked by murderous birds and animals.
The call went out to all the ant kingdoms to gather at the rocky koppie (little hill) and in due time they all made their way there. But at the gathering, all their opinions were conflicting, and they could come to no decision.
All the Ant Kingdom Were There
Those present were Red-ant, Rice-ant, Black-ant, Wagtail-ant, Grey-ant, Shining-ant, and all the other ant tribes. The discussion was a true babel of diversity, which continued for a long time and came to nothing. Every ant kingdom had a different plan that seemed fit and proper for them…
A part of them thought that they should all go into a small hole in the ground, and live there. Some of the others wanted to have a large and strong dwelling built on the ground, where nothing could enter but an ant. Yet others wanted to inhabit the trees, so as to get rid of Anteater and Aardwolf, forgetting completely that there they would be the prey of birds. One of the other ant kingdoms seemed inclined to have wings and fly away from danger. Not one single ant even thought about his fellow ants in the other tribes.
Each argued for their own interests while completely ignoring the others. And, as has already been said, this long and arduous deliberation amounted to nothing and each kingdom resolved to carry on in its own way, and on its own responsibility.
The Best Unity on Earth
Now nowhere in the world could such great unity be seen as that which existed in each separate ant kingdom. Every individual ant had his appointed task; each did his work regularly and well.
And all worked together toward the same goal. From among themselves, most of the ant kingdoms would choose a king and they would divide the work so that everything went as easily as it possibly could.
Ignoring Their Trials They Pressed On
But each tribe did this in its own way, and not one of them thought of protecting themselves against the onslaught of the birds or Anteater, Aardwolf and Centipede.
Spending days of hard work, the Red-ants would build their house on top of the ground and live under it. Still this was no protection because Anteater could level their home to the ground in a minute or two.
The Rice-ants lived under the ground, and with them it went no better. For whenever they came out to feed, Anteater and Aardwolf would visit them and gobble them all up.
The Wagtail-ants fled to the trees, but there on many occasions sat Centipede waiting for them, or the birds guzzled them up.
The Gray-ants had intended to save themselves from certain death by taking to flight, but this also didn’t help them much, because the Lizard, the Hunting-spider, and the birds were much faster than they.
And Still They Pressed On
When the king of the Insects got word that the council had fought and bickered and disagreed so badly, that nothing could be decided. He sent all the ants the Secret-of-Unity, and the Message-of-Work-Together. But unfortunately the Insect-king chose Beetle for his messenger, and Beetle has never arrived at the Ant’s council to this day. So the kingdoms of the ants are still the personification of disagreement and as a result, the favorite prey of their many enemies.