A Conversation With a Female Worker Ant

by Daniel Dela Dunoo

     Once Mr. Inquisitive met a female worker ant and here is a transcription of the recording of the conversation that ensued between the two.

Mr. Inquisitive: Hello there!!! I am so glad to have met you.

Female worker ant: So glad to meet you too. I consider it a privilege.

Mr. Inquisitive: I have heard quite a lot about you and have also observed you for many years running. However, I will like to know you personally rather than from a third party. I have the inkling that I stand the chance of learning a lot from you.

Female worker ant: I am flattered and humbled by your magnanimous comments. I will love to give you as much information as time will allow.

Mr. Inquisitive: That is very kind of you, my new found friend. Please tell me a bit about your impressive family.

Female worker ant: The word, ant happens to be a common name for members of my family. We comprise of about 11,000 species and live in highly organized societies called colonies. Our colonies range in size from a few members to many millions of members.

Mr. Inquisitive: That sounds interesting. I am told there are categories of ants within a given colony. How true is that piece of information? Please expatiate.

Female worker ant: It is exactly so. Members of an ant colony typically fall into categories generally known as castes, each with a different role. There are basically three categories of ants, namely, queens, males and female worker ants. All categories of ants have distinctive functions. Do you mind if I share them with you.

Mr. Inquisitive: I am all ears my dear friend.

Female worker ant: Firstly, I wish to state that I am a female worker ant. Female worker ants form majority of colony members and do not have wings. We perform much of the work within every given colony. This includes searching for food, nursing young ants and defending the colony against ants from other colonies. It may be reliably inferred that when the Bible (Proverbs 6:6-8) instructs humans to learn from the ant, it is in specific reference to the female worker ant. I mention this in passing trusting that you will afford me the opportunity to delve deeper into this very interesting subject before our lively chat is over.

Mr. Inquisitive: Sure!!! I will love to have more of your thoughts on this subject later in our conversation.

Female worker ant: I sincerely appreciate your kind consideration. Now back to the original subject under discussion. Having spoken about the female worker ants and their specific roles in a given colony, I will let you in on the two other categories of ants, namely the queens and the males. The queens are responsible for mating to produce fertilized eggs which hatch to produce more ants. On the other hand, the class of ants commonly called males are noted for the discharge of a singularly role; they play no social role other than mating. They die shortly after mating.

Mr. Inquisitive: Wow!!! This is very informative and interesting too. So satisfying to hear from the horse`s own mouth. The average homo sapiens has virtually no idea about these facts you have so generously shared with me. Before we finally bring our informative chat to a close, I will afford you the opportunity to share your thoughts on your earlier inference that the Bible makes allusions to the female worker ant as an object lesson to humans.

Female worker ant: Without mincing any words, I wish to categorically state that the specific reference can be found in Proverbs 6:6-8 and it states: Take a lesson from the ants, you lazy bones. Learn from their ways and become wise. Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter (Quote from the New International Version of the Bible). You will note that the text expressly states that the ant labors (works) and gathers food. These are certainly part of the main responsibilities of female worker ants, not the queens nor the males.

     It is worth-noting that as small and seemingly insignificant as the ant may be, humans are counseled to learn some valuable life lessons from us, namely self-discipline (Proverbs 6:7-8), hard work (Proverbs 6:8) and avoidance of procrastination (Proverbs 6:8). Of cause, these values are implied and may be ascertained by a careful reading of the Scriptural text.

Mr. Inquisitive: Interesting! Very instructive and informative! Honestly, my respect for you and your kind has skyrocketed. You know what? With respect to the issue of procrastination, Christopher Parker once noted: Procrastination is like the credit card. It`s a lot of fun until you get the bill. The English Poet, Edward Young is said to have made this famous statement: Procrastination is the thief of time. It is impressive that you ants give no room to procrastination. You search for and gather food at the right time. We Homo sapiens stand the chance of accomplishing phenomenal feats if we learn from you. The venerated Benjamin Franklin was right when he instructed thus: Never leave that till tomorrow that which you can do today.

     When it comes to the issue of hard work, the Ghanaian motivational speaker, Ebenezer Acheampong states: it is the diligent hand and head alone that makes success. Every student should read a lot, think a lot and work a lot. Proverbs 10:4 perceptively notes that all lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich. How true!

     The final virtue you mentioned, namely self-discipline is also a non-negotiable prerequisite for feats of monumental proportions. Self-discipline connotes the ability to do what is necessary or sensible without needing to be coerced or urged by another. You female worker ants search for food and gather food all summer without being compelled to do so. You do what ought to be done and exactly when it needs to be done. The famed author and motivational speaker, Zig Ziggler notes that real freedom comes only when discipline becomes a way of life. All things being equal, any human who is self-disciplined will go places.

Female worker ant: I concord. You hit the nail right on its head. These are precisely the valuable lessons I sought to deduce from my life and that of my kind. You have done justice to the subject. There is no telling what you homo sapiens will achieve in all spheres of life if only you will take to heart these valuable life lessons from the female worker ant and make it your own. Dusk is fast approaching and there is loads of work I need to take care of. It`s summer, remember?

Mr. Inquisitive: Sure, I do remember. Thanks a zillion for making time out of your busy schedule to have such an insightful and educative chat with me. You have indeed earned my respect.

Female worker ant: You are most welcome. Hope we talk some more another day.


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