I was gazing out at the garden, when suddenly something caught my eye.
It was a bright little object moving amongst the wood chips.
A closer look revealed it was a lady bug.
A dead lady bug.
Being hauled over hill and dale by a rather large ant.
The ant would heave it up and forward over the rock.
Then pull it behind for a short distance, before heaving it forward again.
It was incredible.
The speed at which this ant was carrying his prize gave me pause.
I am not sure what a human equivalent would be.
A 200 pound man carrying an object considerably larger than himself, rapidly and without concern for the geography, hurried and anxious to present his prize to his queen.
Whatever the motivation may be, this ant was on a mission.
He traversed what may have been the equivalent of several hundred kilometres in human terms.
The terrain was of no consequence.
He was bringing home this prize.
Did he kill the lady bug or was it already dead?
The protein she contained would sustain many baby ants or whatever ants have in their nests.
Where was this nest?
Or hill, if I recall my childhood science project.
I remember they were all the rage at one point.
A sand “ant hill” encased in glass so humans could observe the fantastic work ethic of the lowly ant.
This ant was a mighty mouse.
The Hulk of ants.
I imagined his sinewy exoskeleton, tireless and breathless, not caring about his own fatigue.
Simply intent on bringing home the bacon.
Or lady bug, in this case.
The terrain, in ant terms, would be daunting to any human.
Scaling miniature Mount Everests, handily passing his burden from hand to hand, never letting go, never losing sight of his target: home.
I lost sight of him somewhere under the ground cover.
By then, he had travelled several metres over incorrigible challenges: flagstones, gravel, leaves.
And it got me to thinking, would a human be so relentless? So diligent and intent on a target, that the obstacles mattered not?
Some humans, yes.
Take politicians, and those in high profile careers that only happened as a result of a dogged determination and relentless pursuit and desire.
It is perhaps a lesson for us all.
If we find ourselves faltering, hesitating, second guessing ourselves, we can maybe think about that ant.
That ant who was not taking no for an answer.
That ant who was not letting daunting obstacles slow it down.
That ant who was intent, driven, relentless in its goal of bringing home that prize.
What kind of DNA is that?
Clearly, something is ingrained in that insect so as to make it perform that task so.
Without question, without hesitation, without any thought to its own compromise.
I am sure that ant earned a well deserved nap after that.
If ants even have naps.
Perhaps they are similar to robots – and work until they expire.
Whatever the drive and desire – instinct – DNA – internal programming – I cannot stop thinking about it.
I hope it was well rewarded.
I hope its queen was well pleased.
I hope that ant got its just deserts; its due rewards.
Or perhaps it headed on out again to bring back the next meal.
The next prize.
With no thought to itself.
Only to the colony.
The greater good, and all that.
Service before self.
A good lesson to remember.