Monday, June 13, 2016

Life as I knew It

“And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind…and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25

Growing up in the tropics, I had so many animal experiences! We had pets there that we could never have in the U. S. like a monkey and a talking parrot. But in addition, I and my friends had encounters and experiences with other creatures of all sorts. In this two-part blog post, I will share some of the adventures I grew up thinking were common place.

Driver ants were a special type of ant that surfaced a few times a year. When they did they marched single-file across large areas of land, moving with determination, as they migrated from one spot to another for days at a time before disappearing into the ground again. These were nothing to mess with. They had large pinchers and would attack in mass if you got in the way of their march. They were known to devour small animals and missionaries often put the legs of their baby’s crib in cups of kerosene to prevent the ants from climbing up and biting the babies while they slept. I and other MK’s heard horror stories of babies being eaten during the night by these ants, but as an adult, I ponder the truth of such stories.

We learned that we could stand a few feet away from the ants and stir their single-file line with a stick and watch them scramble. Invariably, the ants would find their way back and resume their single-file marching within mere seconds. It was fascinating to watch. I heard they were following a scent and could always find their way back in line.

Another story I was told, that I believe to be true, was that one of the mission houses was built over the site where the ants always marched at a time when the ants were not marching. So the builders did not realize their mistake. When the ants came out of the ground and started their march, they went right through the house. The family occupying it, tried in vain to keep them out. Giving up, in surrender, they ended up simply leaving their front and back doors open for the few days a year allowing the ants to march right through the home, stepping over them and carefully avoiding them as they went about their daily business.

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